How to get the most out of daylight saving

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The daylight saving time change provides an extra hour of light that can help with brighter moods.

Research shows that sunlight exposure activates the neurotransmitter serotonin, which is connected to boosting your moods and feelings of calmness and focus.

Exercising, eating, and socializing are all possible outdoors under the sun. With the arrival of spring and daylight saving time, more sunlight can help with brighter moods.

In fact, older research Trusted Source has shown that sunlight exposure activates the neurotransmitter serotonin, which is connected to boosting mood and feelings of calmness and focus.

When your serotonin levels are low, there’s risk for major depression with seasonal pattern (also known as seasonal affective disorder or SAD).

“Several of the more commonly prescribed antidepressants act on serotonin,” Dr. Nicole B. Washington, psychiatrist, told Healthline.

She said the increase in sunlight exposure can also increase vitamin D levels. “[There] is data to suggest that low vitamin D levels can have negative effects on mental health disorders, such as depression and anxiety,” said Washington.

The good news is with more sunlight in the day, there’s more opportunity to get outside and break up your day, all while upping your serotonin and vitamin D levels.

“For anyone working a traditional work schedule, the time change means it isn’t dark when you leave work anymore and gives you more time to do things that could break up the pandemic days,” said Washington.

Plus, Gracy Obuchowicz, self-care coach, believes humans have a natural flood of energy that comes during the seasonal shift to spring.

“Look at the other animals around us; they are coming out of hibernation and moving back into life.

I know I personally feel this as the desire to do a lot of spring cleaning and get outside every moment I can,” Obuchowicz told Healthline.

“That said, I think that after spending winter in isolated pandemic mode, many of us have unprecedented hunger to be back outside and around other people,” she added.

As you adjust to the time change and embrace the extra hour of sunlight, Obuchowicz recommends you get in the habit of planning one outdoor activity every morning when you wake up.