With the passing of the summer solstice, many are happy to welcome more sunshine and warm weather in the weeks to come. Although sunshine is a great reason to go outdoors and socialize, its perks beyond what meets the eye. Local Edmonton Psychologist Farrel Greenspan explains that healthy amounts of sun exposure have benefits for mental and physical wellness, too.

“The three main psychological benefits are that vitamin D helps produce muscle and bone growth,” says Greenspan. “Also, the sunshine helps produce serotonin in our brain, which serves as an antidepressant, which helps us feel better and makes our mood better” he adds.

Greenspan says that sun exposure also produces melatonin, which helps with sleeping and maintaining a better sleep cycle.

Spending time outside in the summer can add relief to mental stress, even without the sunshine. Greenspan notes that going for a bike ride, walking with friends, or just being out in the community can help protect people from mental health problems.