The sun really has got his hat on and continues to want to come out to play on what is likely to be the hottest Bank Holiday Monday since records began – Hip hip hip hooray!

Temperatures could soar to 28C in parts of England making it the hottest Bank Holiday Monday in 40 years.  May Bank Holiday was introduced in 1978 and the temperature has never topped the 28C mark.  In 1999 the Bank Holiday Monday was 23.6C, while the hottest bank holiday weekend was in 1995 and peaked on the Saturday at 28.6C.

As a nation our spirits have been lifted and instinctively we all seem to believe that warm weather makes us happier. But is it true?

I know I feel much chirpier when the gloomy days of a British winter and the rainy days spring brings give way to good weather!  Especially when the clouds break, and sunshine gently strokes my face, and when the interminable flatness from creamy grey skies is replaced by sharp contrasts of blue.

I feel energized by the endless possibilities a sunny day brings.  The day feels extended by being able to get outdoors and enjoy the garden, whether there are jobs to be done or just from enjoying basking and feeling as though you could be on your jollies!

Does a sunny climate equate to a sunny disposition?   Are people happier in summer than in winter?  Or is it because we spend more time outdoors in good weather and therefore we can all witness each other’s moods and can conclude a brighter disposition, as people share comments about how they feel and how the arrival of the sun has literally brightened their day?

Research suggests that high pressure, high temperature and low humidity are associated with positive emotions so basically, nice weather seemed to put people in a good mood.  More sunlight equalled better moods; less sunlight can lead to symptoms of depression.

As stress is an inevitable fact of life, it has been proven that you can fight it naturally with the help of a sunny day.

There are many reasons why to let the sunshine into your life as it has been found that levels of serotonin thought to be a contributor to feelings of well-being and happiness are lower during the winter than the summer.  Serotonin is a neurotransmitter regulating appetite, sleep, memory, and mood and low levels directly correlate with seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which most often occurs during winter months.

Natural daylight can improve sleep as sunlight shuts off the body’s production of melatonin, a hormone produced at night that makes you feel drowsy. Constant exposure to sunlight can help your body maintain its circadian rhythm. Your circadian rhythm is a 24-hour cycle that regulates biochemical, physiological, and behavioural processes and makes you feel tired when it’s dark outside.

Going outside for 15 minutes at the same time every day, preferably in the morning, tells your body that it’s no longer night time. Sunlight that’s unhindered by sunglasses will reach the brain’s pineal gland more easily and signal it to stop releasing melatonin.

Getting out in the sunshine also allows you to top up on vitamin D, known as the “sunshine vitamin

However, like everything in life, the sun should be enjoyed in moderation in the full knowledge it has many health benefits. But keep exposure moderate. Factors such as skin pigmentation, time of day, and how much skin is exposed all determine the healthiest dosage of sunshine for you.

So, I for one am going to be enjoying another day of beautiful skies and excellent moods from all around. 

I love that feeling when the sun shines and especially immediately following a rain shower, when it bursts out of the sky to remind you it does exist and then sparkles on all the puddles .  All the colours seem brighter around me and my senses seem somehow keener!  They are moments I find profoundly exhilarating. Perhaps for me it’s not the sunshine that matters so much as the pleasure I get when our weather changes.

But whatever it is for you - enjoy the moment as unfortunately in the UK it never lasts for long!


The sun has got its hat on and is coming out to play......