The Mental and Physical Benefits of Sunshine

Recovery is a time of healing. In our addictions, we cared little for the natural world and rarely had time to sit outside and soak up sunshine. Early sobriety is the perfect time to embrace the gifts of the natural world, and it turns out, simple being outdoors in sunlight can provide many wonderful physical and mental health benefits.
There are many health complications that resulted from our time in addiction. Many of us entered into treatment malnourished and depressed. Being out in the sun, however, can help our minds and bodies heal more thoroughly from the damages of addiction. Vitamin D is essential to our health and well-being, and sunshine is one of the best ways to improve our levels of Vitamin D in the body. Vitamin D deficiency can cause us to feel tired and run down, often exacerbating the depression and lethargy common in early recovery. Dr. Akash Sinha, in a 2013 Newcastle University study, Vitamin D Proven to Boost Energy—from Within the Cells, explains, “Examining this small group of patients with vitamin D deficiency who experienced symptoms of muscle fatigue, we found that those with very low vitamin D levels improved their muscle efficiency significantly when their vitamin D levels were improved.” Even our mood can be improved simply by getting out into sunlight. According to a 2016 Active Times article, “6 Things that Make Depression Worse”, “Lack of sunlight has been linked to clinical depression. It is proven that sunlight is a natural mood booster. Sunlight helps regulate your serotonin and melatonin; therefore, having the ability to negatively affect your cognitive functions. If you find yourself depressed on cloudy rainy days, try using an artificial light box.” Fatigue and depression are extremely common problems in early sobriety. Our fatigue worsens our depression, and our depression worsens our fatigue. We have to find a way to break out of this vicious cycle, and making ourselves get out under the sun is one of the easiest and most effective ways to improve both our energy level and mood. Happiness and motivation are essential if we are to thoroughly engage in a program of recovery, and sunshine may be one of the best ways to improve our well-being.

The darkness and pain of addiction doesn’t have to be a part of your story. You can begin building a brighter future in sobriety by seeking treatment today. Oceanfront Recovery, a treatment facility in Orange County, California, offers the opportunity to recover from addiction and alcoholism in a beautiful Laguna Beach environment. For more information about treatment options, please call today: (877) 279-1777