Thursday, September 06, 2007

Sunlight, Serotonins and Stress

I have been taking the kids to my mom's pool the last couple of weeks. Yes, we have a pool in our backyard. It is a very nice pool. It would work to get wet and play. Before this summer, I had only swam at my mom's pool maybe 3 times in the last 8 years. When I say "her" pool, I should say her community pool. She lives in a retirement community. During the summer, the pool is not really all that full because of lack of snowbirds. Her pool is roomy and there is no screen over it. My pool has a screen over and around it. Normally, I am not a tanning person. For a brief time in my twenties, I had a friend that loved to tan. I would go to the beach with her for the sole purpose of getting a tan. Then I had two more kids and we lost touch and that was pretty much the end of any tanning for me. If you were to ask me if I was a tanning person, I would probably tell you no. Then something happened. I went swimming in SC while we were there. My brother-in-law's pool also does not have a screen. I got a little color just from swimming for that one morning. The color was nice, but more importantly, I felt less stressed. I can't explain it exactly, but if you are a bath person - sorta that feeling of easing into the bathtub and drowsing in and out of sleep. Just more relaxed. I came home and I went swimming in my pool. Something I hadn't really done much this year. I would let the kids swim and watch them from the swing. I didn't get that same relaxed feeling. I started to think it was the sunlight that the screens were protecting me from. Believe me I know about the danger of UV rays. Tim burned his ears pretty bad on a boat trip and had to have tissue removed due to skin cancer. I am not saying I should bake in the sun and that will solve all of my stress issues. I am saying that a swim once or twice a week has done wonders for my mood. I did a little googling and found out that the sun really does release those happy serotonins. This was a simple, basic article about relieving stress - click here. In case my family is worrying that I am depressed and need sunlight - I am not depressed. Stressed, yes! Depressed, no! You can relax now.

Here are the pictures from the pool. I didn't realize that there was smudges on my camera. Sorry for the blurred part!

My VERY BRAVE PHOTO of myself! Don't I look relaxed?

My white legs that could use some color!

1 comment:

Karen said...

Your pictures have the "been swimming in the chlorine without goggles" effect. That's just how things look after that. LOL!