Do you remember in science class, how we learned when a seed starts to sprout and grow, it is reaching for the sun? It was so interesting to learn how much they need sunlight to grow healthy and strong. Well, that’s what I felt like today. I felt like that little seed desperately reaching out for sunlight.
In recent weeks, the sun was hiding but today is a beautiful, sunny day and the skies are blue. Even though it is 2 degrees right now (yes, you read that right!) I wanted SO MUCH to go outside and feel it. While driving, I could feel myself leaning toward the car window just taking in that wonderful light.
Oh, how much we need our Vitamin D, ESPECIALLY IN WINTER MONTHS! Did you know that Vitamin D is actually a hormone? This means it plays a crucial role in our health and well being. When low, it can cause mood swings, decreases serotonin levels, and increases depression. Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, is when people struggle with depression during the winter months. It takes effort to be happy and sometimes to even get out of bed!
If you struggle with depression in the winter months, rather than having your doctor prescribe an anti-depressant, you might want to consider some of these alternatives. The first thing I highly recommend is getting your Vitamin D levels checked. I am amazed at how many people come back low. A good level should be between 50-80.
Obviously one of the the best ways to increase Vitamin D is to get out in the sun so if you are able, go outside a few minutes every day. Since we know that this tends to be difficult in northern areas, another idea is through light therapy. It is an artificial way to get those valuable minutes of light. Another option is to supplement with Vitamin D. In the winter months, it is recommended to take up to 4,000 IU’s a day. Remember, if you are taking only the recommended daily allowances, it keeps your levels where they are, nothing more. RDA’s will not help increase your levels if they are low.
These are just a few tips on ways to help get you through. They are easy and simple, and best of all . . . NO SIDE EFFECTS! You will be amazed at the difference and you may even find that winter is not so bad. If you are reading this and try some of these tips, please come back and leave a comment. I would love to hear how it is going!