Has your home been gloomy during quarantine?
It has been about a year since the Coronavirus pandemic has reached the United States. We have begun wearing masks, started learning via Zoom, and even picked up new hobbies during the quarantine. For those who are used to always going out (and perhaps even for some introverts), being locked up at home may have already taken its toll on one’s physical and mental well-being.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been a major roller coaster ride for most of us. As a major life event collectively faced by the world population, it has put a lot of stress on each individual in varying degrees, especially on the medical front liners. Given that most of us are now “homebodies”, how do we take care of our well-being while at home? Where do we find good pick-me-up? The answer goes beyond the clouds.
Hello, Mr. Sun
Do you ever wonder why you feel “brighter” on a sunny day?
Sunlight is known to have a significant effect on mood. It is a natural mood lifter that is linked to the production of a “happy brain chemical” called serotonin.
With higher levels of serotonin comes a lower chance for diving into depression and anxiety as this brain chemical helps regulate positive feelings such as calmness and satisfaction. Despite its benefits, though, you can’t simply expose yourself to direct sunlight all day.
Good Sun vs. Not-so-good Sun
Did you know that getting your daily dose of sunlight is great but it can also be harmful? You have to keep in mind the hours of when you expose yourself to avoid sunburn or worse skin conditions.
If you have fair skin, you are more likely to get a sunburn more quickly than others. When planning to get your dose of sunlight, it is important to note that the sun is harsher on the skin between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. so it’s best to avoid these hours.
Whether you have fair skin or not, always remember to use sunblock whenever you go out. Keep this in mind especially if you plan on staying outside for more than 15 minutes. Wear a sunblock that has at least SPF 15 to keep your skin protected.
Your Daily Dose Of Sun
How can you get your daily dose of sunlight during quarantine? There are ways on how to care for your happy brain chemicals while staying home. Go out in your yard (always remember to put a face mask on). You can do this during the early morning if there are fewer people around your neighborhood by then.
Out in the yard, perhaps you can try out a new hobby like gardening to motivate you to spend a few minutes out in the garden every day. Playing with your dog is also a yard-friendly activity that would benefit you and your pet. The added exercise can aid in uplifting your mood as well.
Explore different corners of your home from inside to the outside. Document patterns and interesting objects by trying out phone photography. You would be surprised by how many hobbies there are to choose from. A lot of them don’t require much of a budget, and they can easily be done at home.
Looking for a way to redesign your home according to your natural light needs? You have plenty of options as well.
A Sunny Home
If you are looking for a way to increase natural light inside your home, here are ways you can explore. Replace your thick, dark curtain with lighter colored or sheer options to effectively increase natural light in your rooms. Keep curtains open, if necessary (and if it is safe to do so).
Add mirrors wherever suitable. This will enhance the amount of light that enters the home. If you have the budget, consider replacing your solid doors with ones with windows. Better yet, you should consider installing sliding glass doors to greatly illuminate your space.
The year 2020 was a stressful year for most of us, if not all. It is normal to feel down and alone especially during the quarantine period and with all the social distancing protocols implemented.
Good thing there is a natural (and free) way to take care of our mental health while staying home. This year, it is time for us to look ahead of us and towards the bright side. Explore and find the appropriate ways, hobbies, or steps you need to take to increase your daily sunlight dosage. Your happy brain chemicals will do you a favor.
Once we learn how to adapt to the necessary changes that are needed to stay safe and healthy, quarantine may not be so bad after all. Now, it’s time to greet every bright morning with a smile!