It’s nearly the winter solstice. It’s not quite 5 PM and I’m looking past my Christmas tree into the street. It’s nearly dark and my neighbours are gradually turning on their holiday lights. I love this dark time of year. It seems to demand a cozy sweater and woolen socks, something warming to drink, and seasonal music.
Apparently though, the shortened days and lack of sunlight at this time of year can lead to SAD (seasonal affective disorder.) We need sunlight to make melatonin, which we need for all kinds of functions. Apparently, when deprived of sunlight, our brains deplete their stores of serotonin (our natural mood enhancer) by requiring the pineal gland to convert it into melatonin, causing SAD. But research shows that Denmark, with only 7 hours of daylight at this time of year, is rated one of the happiest countries in the world. Maybe they go outside during the day? Let’s get outside and walk and make melatonin!
(I have no medical background and this blog may be nonsense. In the spirit of the season, let’s just believe that being outside will make us happier.)