I’m like a cat. If there is a patch of sunlight anywhere in the house… I will find it.
We had the sweetest cat for 14 years. Her name was Sonia. And wherever the sun was shining the brightest through the window, that’s where she was curled up.
I find myself doing that too. Especially as the days get shorter and the sunlight is briefer, I look for those sunny spots in my home. There’s a patch of sunlight shining on the floor of my office near my feet and I’ve turned my chair to put my toes in it.
My bedroom gets the most lovely afternoon sunshine and I’m currently searching for a cozy chair to put right under the window so I can sit and soak it up. (Rather than sitting on the hardwood floors.)
There are some days when the sun through the window isn’t even enough and I just have to go outside and let it hit my skin. Even if it’s just my face peeking over my down coat.
I remember years ago when I really understood the positive effect the sunlight has on me. I’d always know it intuitively, I’m sure, but this is the first time I remember understanding it.
I had stormed out of work at the end of an incredibly stressful day and I desperately needed something to help me relieve the anxiety and calm my body and mind. I had left work a little bit early and didn’t have to go pick up children yet, so I drove around, trying to figure out what I needed.
I drove by the big park in the middle of our city and found myself stopping. I wandered into the park, found a spot on a sunny hillside near the pond, and sat myself down. I closed my eyes and tipped my head up to the sunshine and just breathed.
As the light warmed my skin and the breeze cooled it down, I felt my anxiety melt away. My muscles relaxed. My mind quieted.
There was still a stack of stress back at my job, but those few minutes of sitting in the sunlight gave me enough of a reprieve that I felt like I could step back, see it more clearly, and head back (the next day) more equipped to deal with it.
It was such a profound change that I couldn’t help but mentally note it. And as I dealt with other stresses in the next few days and weeks, I found that sunlight–often outdoors, but indoors too–had a powerful effect on me.
It’s now one of my go-to tactics for dealing with all that life throws at me. Sitting in the sunlight helps me make my life both physically and mentally lighter! Sometimes I joke that I must be solar powered.
And like my sweet Sonia, who has now graduated to sunlit window sills in the spirit world, on this chilly autumn morning, I’m going to go find a little patch of sunlight.
Does the sunlight do this for you?