That’s right, getting natural light for 30 minutes a day stimulates neurotransmitters that help boost your mood AND help you sleep better (Source), both of which will drastically improve your life. It will also help you feel more alert in the morning and less sluggish after lunch. If you wake up early in the morning and can’t get back to sleep, afternoon sunlight is best. Otherwise, get into the sun as soon as possible after you wake up and try to get doses throughout the morning up to mid-afternoon. You can also do this inside by using a light box OR sitting by a window where the UV rays are filtered if you are worried about sun exposure. But even the NHS says that 15 minutes or so of sun exposure might be helpful for Vitamin D levels. (Source)
Play in the Dirt
Garden, walk in the forest, or dig around in dirt for 15-30 minutes. Not only will this help you get outside and get moving a little bit, but it also helps your immune system! Studies show that the bacteria in the dirt can help combat depression and inflammation. (Source) This is also a great form of grounding–touching the earth with your skin for at least 15 minutes–which also reduces inflammation. (Source)
Take A Bath
Yup, hot water has amazing health benefits, both physical and mental! Not only will a bath help ease your sore muscles, help you relax, and even reduce inflammation in your body, but it can also combat depression! (Source) Make sure your water is around 40C or 104F for the best results. You can also up the relaxation (and maybe the benefits) by adding in some essential oils for aromatherapy. Don’t worry, there’s evidence for this helping with a lot of issues, too, especially Lavender! (Source;Source)
Do 30 minutes of Yin Yoga! Yin yoga has been shown to help decrease depression and anxiety, perhaps better than aerobic exercise! (Source) And the effects of Yin Yoga can be cumulative and long lasting, meaning the more you practice the better you feel! I’ve embedded my favorite Yin Yoga video for beginners below. Thanks Travis Eliot!