The winter months can be tough. The temperatures drop, snow and sleet coat the streets, and there's less daylight. Some people bundle up and just trudge through the season, whereas others can become downright melancholy - or even depressed.
When someone has the winter blues, a.k.a. seasonal affective disorder, they typically feel fatigued and moody. Many studies conclude one of the causes of the winter blues is often the lack of exposure to sunlight since most people experience less daylight with shorter days during the winter. Those same studies have shown that the more sunlight people are exposed to, the better their mood tends to be.
What better way to gain some mood-boosting exposure to sunlight than traveling to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world? Not only can this help pull you out of your winter blues, but studies have shown that exposure to the sun's rays increases your serotonin levels, which can have a positive effect on stress, sleep, and appetite.
Here are some of the world's best beaches for soaking up the sun.
The 1,102 islands in the Indian Ocean that make up the Maldives are known for white sands, coral reefs, tropical fish and year-round sunshine. In fact, the weather here is often touted as perfect - sunny days, breezy nights, balmy mornings, unforgettable sunsets and average temperatures in the mid-80s. The clear waters and rich marine life make the Maldives one of the best diving and snorkeling destinations in the world. If you go here, make a trip to the beach at night - it glows! Organisms in the water turn the coast into a glowing neon blue phenomenon you just have to see.
Bora Bora, an only 18-mile long strip of land, is just one of the islands that make up French Polynesia. Nicknamed the "Romantic Island," this tropical destination boasts isolated white sandy beaches, not to mention over-water bungalows that are the standard feature for most resorts here. It is surrounded by a lagoon and a barrier reef, making it popular for snorkeling and SCUBA diving.
If Prince William and Kate Middleton have vacationed here, you know it's got to be amazing. Officially known as the Republic of Seychelles, this destination is made up of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean not far from mainland Southeast Africa. Seychelles' climate is always warm, never reaching extreme heat or cold, making it a year-round travel destination for beach lovers. This spot allows vacationers to either spend their time relaxing in the sun or enjoying high-energy boating and diving excursions.
This Malaysian beach's name translates to "the land of one's wishes." Located in Andaman Sea, you'll find quiet white sand beaches, clear water, and rich green forests. Langkawi, which is officially called Langkawi the Jewel of Kedah, is located not far off of the mainland coast of northwestern Malaysia. The picturesque stretches of beach here seem unending, but that's not the only attraction in Langkawi - this spot is also known for its three parks rich in wildlife such as hairy-nosed sea otters, brown winged kingfishers, monitor lizards and swimming macaque monkeys.
Think the name of this place sounds familiar? That's because it was 中国福利彩票安卓版r's "beautiful and rich land" and the backdrop for Shakespeare's play, "The Tempest." Corfu, or Kerkyra in Greek, is known for its pebbly beaches and beautiful clear blue waves from the Ionian Sea. This destination, which is a part of Greece's Ionian Islands, is said to have the most stunning coastline out of all of the islands. There are some hotels and villas to rent here that provide their own private beaches.
This Indonesian island is what beach dreams are made of. Bali consists of volcanoes, deep green canopy, and beautiful shores framed with turquoise water. Here you can spend your days indulging on delicious cuisine, lazily sunbathing, surfing and even visiting temples. The nightlife is popular here too.
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