The afternoon light through my window is bright and intense. Blinding almost. And I am like a plant drawn to its warmth, soaking up as much as I can before it slips out of reach.
The end of daylight savings can rattle even the most grounded of us. Light, beautiful light, is the source of life. Getting by with less of it, I have to say, can make me feel less alive.
Knowing this, I make an effort to bring more light into my life this time of year. Here are a few ways you can too!
- Light a candle. This morning, as I was giving my son a bottle at 3 am, (changing the clocks already has him way off schedule), I opted not to turn on the lights. The morning bottle is a sacred time for me and rather than getting annoyed that I was up so early, I decided to light one of my favorite aromatherapy candles and bliss the moment.
- Buy some flowers. My friend A has been buying fresh flowers every Saturday and placing them in every room in her boyfriend’s apartment. She says they create more “light.” Using an essential oiler diffuser is another great way to elevate your surroundings!
- Check your Vitamin D. Most people are not getting enough Vitamin D and this time of year it’s especially important to get your levels checked. Vitamin D is actually a hormone that your body produces when exposed to sunlight. It affects energy, mood, and cellular growth and also regulates genes. Who knew? Optimal amounts — the key word here is optimal — can help prevent autoimmune diseases, high blood pressure, fibromyalgia, depression, osteoporosis, and even cancer. One of my favorite teachers at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, Mark Hyman, MD, recommends getting tested for 25 OH Vitamin D and says that the optimal range is 40-65 ng/ml even though the “normal” range is considerably lower. You can find more info here.
- Get more Z’s. This time of year you may find yourself craving sleep. Our bodies are especially sensitive to light and as the days get shorter our need for sleep increases. Don’t fight it. Without enough sleep your body can’t heal, repair and restore. Remember this next time you practice your sun salutations at yoga. Thank the sun for giving you an excuse to get to bed early. Your body will love you for it. Oh, and remember to limit screen time to at least an hour before bed. Your brain needs chill time before shutting down.
- Up Your Vitamin G. Practicing gratitude activates the part of the brain responsible for producing serotonin and dopamine – our beloved mood enhancers. Getting less sunlight can have the opposite effect. A great way to bring more light to your practice – literally – is to journal by candlelight. A delicious way to end the day!
Now it’s your turn. How will you light up YOUR life this week? Leave a comment, question or gratitude below!