Now winter has come and gone and spring has sprung, it’s time to embrace the summer months and that means safely catching those rays to give our mood a boost and increase our levels of Vitamin D.
For many, the winter months lead to a drop in mood, and for some this can lead to them experiencing Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a type of depression that’s related to changes in seasons.
How does sunshine help?
According to the NHS: “Our bodies create Vitamin D from direct sunlight on our skin when we’re outdoors.” This happens from about late March / early April time until the end of September, when most people should be able to get all the vitamin D they need from sunlight. However, in the autumn and winter months this is harder to do as there is less sunshine and consequently there is a decrease in how much Vitamin D we naturally produce.
What does Vitamin D do?
Vitamin D helps regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body; the nutrients needed to keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy. But research has shown that vitamin D might play an important role in regulating mood and warding off depression, and some research showed that people with depression who received a vitamin D supplement noticed an improvement in their symptoms.
What can we do?
Be safe in the sunshine and always stay hydrated, stay out of the midday sun, use sun protection and cover up where possible as UV rays can cause some types of cancer and other health issues. But get yourself outside and soak up some rays safely.
Safe, regular sun exposure is the most natural way to get enough vitamin D, with around 10-30 minutes of sunlight several times a week being enough to maintain healthy blood levels.
If you experience low moods or any symptoms, please seek support and advice from a medical professional.