Today is dull and rainy, as it often is in Nanaimo. Don't get me wrong, I love it here, and it is one of the most beautiful areas of Canada that I have been, but as a result, I'm feeling a little dull myself. Which is a bit of a blow after an amazingly beautiful weekend spent with friends picnicking on the beach, perusing markets and hiking through local parks..... One of my friends was laughing at me as we were collecting shells on the beach, "what's with you today? You're super happy!" and I jokingly replied that I'm like a flower that blossoms in the sunshine. But it wasn't that much of a joke because it had a lot of truth to it! I thrive in the sun, I feel alive and happy and healthy. I guess that's why I dislike winter so much and love to get away to sunny destinations :)
Why is it that the weather can affect us so much anyways? I think Vitamin D is my favourite vitamin. (I know, who has a favourite vitamin anyways?) But really, its only because of its association with the sun :) My Canadian friends can especially appreciate where I'm coming from. A winter without a get-away is nearly unbearable. Even a week's vacation to Mexico or the likes is enough of that lovely bright yellow thing to get us through the long 6 months of cold, dark days. Really, as my mother often says, winter get-away's should be a tax deduction for us because its saving on health care costs. It actually is. Being in the sun, relaxing, is helping us unwind and de-stress from our crazy lives, and is giving us a big dose of the much needed vitamin D. As a result, we come back healthier (despite a few too many piña coladas) and ready to keep on keeping on until summer arrives.
That brings me to one of my favourite topics: stress. Stress is a HUGE factor in our health. More than most realize. When we're stressed, our "fight or flight" response kicks in. This means that more blood is pumped to certain organs, over-working them. So where does that extra blood come from? Well, let's say a grizzly is chasing you. Do you really need to digest that banana you just ate, or do you need to run for your life? You need to run! So the blood flow to your digestive system slows right down and increases in your muscles and heart allowing you to run faster and further. When we are under constant stress, our body systems aren't getting the proper blood and nutrient supply they need, so our digestive system slows and suffers, (this is just an example, any system(s) may suffer), thus making us have all sorts of problems. Solution? We need to minimize our stress and cope with the rest in healthy ways such as getting outside in the sunshine and fresh air, exercising, journaling, talking it out, whatever works for you!
Okay, I realize I am a bit off topic from where I started, but my point was, I love the sun, and we should all take advantage of it when its out. It's a great source of vitamin D, and nature's feel-good gift to us!