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Oh, beautiful sunshine, how we all need you. If you are like me, you are easily affected by the weather. When it’s cold and gray, I’m feeling a down and unmotivated. If the sun is shining, I can take on the world.
However, growing up in Indiana, it felt like there were more gray, cold days than sunny warm days, hence that is why I no longer live there. A move that I have never regretted, and I am not alone in this town. So many people have moved here to get away from the cold winters of the northern states.
I’m pretty sure that, although never clinically diagnosed, I have mild SAD (seasonal affective disorder) and I still do, only less of it living in North Carolina. Working in the hospital where you can go 8-12 hours without even knowing whether the sun came up that day, gets very hard.
Therefore, I blame the long days at work coinciding with the short days in the winter for my fatigue and sadness in orth Carolina. The days I am not working and able to get out in the sunshine and fresh air, my energy level is completely different.
So, I know there must be a correlation between sunshine and feeling bummed out. It has to do with our bodies depending on sunshine to make vitamin D. Vitamin D is unlike any other vitamin, in that our bodies convert sunshine into it, crazy, huh? Unfortunately, the number a people with vitamin D deficiency has been on the rise.
Having vitamin D deficiency is no joke. A simple blood test can determine your levels. If you suffer from symptoms of depression, extreme fatigue, bone pain, muscle fatigue and weakness, you may want to get your levels checked just to make sure.
So how do we get the Vitamin D we need when our days are spent at work?
- Make a point to get outside on your lunch break. Hopefully, you get a few minutes for a lunch break (although I know all too well that this is sometimes impossible to come by.)
- Step outside for as long as possible and make sure you expose as much skin as possible
- Eat your lunch outside, hopefully your place of employment has a place for you to sit outside, if not bring a blanket and pop a squat.
- Go for a walk, get your exercise and vitamin D at the same time!
- Eat your Vitamin D according to www.livestrong.com/article/19023-foods-high-vitamin-d/ foods high in Vitamin D include:
- Canned Tuna
- Fortified OJ
- Fortified Milk
- Supplements. Hopefully just temporarily, but in the winter time, supplementing Vitamin D may be necessary to keep you from experiencing low levels and symptoms of SAD (I am not a physician, please ask your doctor before taking any new supplements) This is the Vitamin D supplement that I use, purchased from Amazon.
In conclusion, this is all just another great reminder of why it is so important to listen to what our bodies are telling us. If you are having any of the above symptoms, think about your lifestyle, and try to make an effort to get outside when the sun is shining. Ask for a blood test to check your levels, adjust your diet or add a supplement if needed.