Tuesday's 60 degree weather was a welcome change from the snow and gloom of this month's winter storms. Not only does it feel good. There's an actual benefit to soaking in the sun.
There were dozens of people outside enjoying the pleasant weather from stay-at-home moms and their children at the park to joggers on the greenway in Greenville.
All of them said getting outside into the sunshine makes them feel happier and energized. The therapist we spoke to agrees.
We found several mothers and their children at Elm Street Park. They say it's the first time in weeks the weather has been nice enough to play outside.
Christina Fitzsimmons-Kellan says, "After all the snow and being stuck inside, there's nothing like getting your kid outside in the fresh air to run around."
Not too far on the greenway, Ali Wygand and her dog Macy are playing fetch in the shade. She says being stuck inside because of cold temperatures gave them a case of cabin fever
Wygand says, "Compared to the summer and the winter I'm always way happier in the summer when I can get out. Sunshine makes you relax. When you're in the winter it's just depressing. Sunshine just makes everyone happy.
Clinical therapists call that depressed winter doldrum experienced during the cold season seasonal affective disorder or SAD.
Clinical therapist Sean Pumphrey says, "The last couple of weeks with the lows coming in bringing in some difficult weather, no sunshine, people feel the effects."
Pumphrey says symptoms of the disorder include changes in mood, sleep, appetite and an overall lethargic feeling.
He says a possible solution to the groggy, depressed feeling this time of the year, can be as easy as stepping outside. "The sun is great for you as long as you don't get burned, you make sure you don't get too little sun but you want enough so it benefits you."
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