The Spring Equinox: Thank you Mr. Sun!

The Spring Equinox: Thank you Mr. Sun!

The spring equinox is a special time of year for many cultures, where light and dark are equally balanced. Solar energy is often considered to be powerful and life-giving, which makes sense when you consider that plants depend on it for photosynthesis. Photosynthesis converts light into chemical energy, which fuels all plant growth and reproduction. Plants need this energy to grow and reproduce. And we need plants to live and survive as a species! 

Winter to spring countryside where winter is on left side and spring is on right side.

During the spring equinox, we're at the halfway point between the shortest day of the year (winter solstice) and the longest day (summer solstice). In addition to being associated with fertility, the spring equinox was also believed that this day signaled an increase in magic and divination abilities. It was thought that communication between humans and gods would be easier on this day.

This really is a great time to get outside and get some fresh air!

Woman and plant bathed in sunshine in nature with a mountain in springtime.

The sun rises directly in line with our planet's axis. It also sets directly along this line, meaning it rises due east and sets due west on this day. Because there are equal amounts of daylight and darkness during this time, it makes sense that people would want to spend more time outside enjoying nature's beauty.

Vitamin D levels rise during springtime because people spend more time outside as they become more active.

Vitamin D is a nutrient that plays a role in many aspects of your body's health. It helps keep your bones strong, supports the immune system, and may even protect against some cancers.

Vitamin D is synthesized in the skin from sunlight. When you're outdoors during the springtime, it's important to make sure that you get enough vitamin D so that you don't become deficient. A deficiency can lead to a host of health problems including osteoporosis (weakening of the bones), rickets (softening or weakness of growing children's bones), and depression as well as other symptoms like fatigue and muscle aches/pains.

Young person lying in a sunbeam in a clearing of aspen trees.

Sunlight helps us feel happy because it stimulates our brains' serotonin production center, which gives us a warm feeling of well-being– even if we're cold!

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps us feel happy. Sunlight also stimulates the production of melatonin, which promotes sleep and improves moods by regulating the secretion of other neurotransmitters such as dopamine and norepinephrine.

In addition to these benefits, sunlight also has an anti-inflammatory effect on the body through its ability to increase nitric oxide in our cells (nitric oxide is responsible for relaxing blood vessels). Sunlight can help improve your mood, reduce stress levels, and boost your energy.

Young woman squatting by a stream rippling with sun beams in springtime

This spring equinox is a great time to get out there into the sunshine!

The spring equinox is a great time to get out there into the sunshine! It's easy to forget how important sunlight is to our well-being, but it's not just good for vitamin D levels (which are at their highest during this season). Sunlight also triggers serotonin production, making you feel happier and more energetic.

springtime mountain as the sun moves behind the mountain at golden hour

We can't live without sunlight. It's a fact of life, but it's also something we take for granted. We need sunlight to grow our food and keep ourselves healthy, so when the days start getting longer again in springtime, it's worth taking some time out to appreciate this amazing resource.

Digital images created by Stacey Posnett

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