Winter is hard on most people, myself included. Where I live the days are shorter in the winter so it’s easy to attribute the lack of motivation to lack of sunlight. Officially the jury is still out on sunshine, Vitamin D and better moods. However, a 2006 study linked vitamin D deficiency in older adults with lower moods. More recently, research at the Loyola University Chicago Niehoff School of Nursing showed that vitamin D supplements improved the moods of women with type 2 diabetes and signs of depression. Experts call it the ‘sunshine vitamin’ because human skin creates Vitamin D when exposed to sunlight (info). You need the sun for many reasons, your mood being one of them. So it makes sense that when there is less sunlight your mood isn’t as good, especially during a long and cold winter.
For myself the lack of sunshine actually directly affects how often I post new material because my motivation isn’t as good during the winter. There are a few ways to fight it though:
- Get Outside: This is obvious but can be hard to to do when it’s very cold, or snowy or icy outside. We have to force ourselves to get out in the sun in the winter as much as we can, even when the weather isn’t so great.
- Tanning beds and UV lights: Ask an expert if the bed uses UVB light. You can also buy lights that give off UVB light like this one. Make sure to ask your Dr. first about proper use.
- Vitamin D Supplements: You may not need to go this far if you get enough sunshine but it can work great to help moods during the winter. Again, it’s best to ask your Dr. first.
Sometimes sunshine is the best medicine!