"Winter blues" is a real thing. There are many things that can cause depression, lack of motivation, chronic exhaustion and many other symptoms. Even on a beautiful sunny day in the winter many people have a hard time feeling happy and energized.
People who believe in natural health believe that a lot of this is due to the extreme decrease in vitamin D. I never noticed it more than I did this year. Over the summer I was spending about 6-8 HOURS a day outside, in the sun. I cannot even put in words how happy and energized I felt. I have never felt that kind of happiness before. Then fall arrived and even though I was outside I wasn't getting the sun like I had before. By the beginning of winter I was having a really hard time keeping my energy levels up. I could not figure out why I was feeling the way I was. Then it hit me, my vitamin D levels had dropped drastically. Drops in Vitamin D levels is also what causes the immune system to be stressed and is why so many people get sick during the winter. (in my opinion)
My first tip for reducing winter blues is to increase vitamin D intake. Starting in the fall is best so you don't get the drastic drop. But anytime is good to start. Not all vitamin D supplements are created equal. Some of my favorites can be found here www.revelationhealth.com. (I do not get paid for referring this company) Any of the vitamin D supplements you see on this website are sure to be effective.
Most doctors will tell you to be careful because you could overdose on vitamin D. However, all my research on vitamin D has concluded that it is extremely hard to overdose on vitamin D. 10-15 minutes of natural sunlight is about 1000 IU of vitamin D. So, over the summer I was getting about 24,000 IU PER DAY!! And I am telling you I felt better than I have ever felt in my life. Vitamin D supplements are a bit different than natural sunlight so the amounts you intake will be lower than what you would get in the sun.
The "toxic level" is considered to be 10,000 IU/day The negative side effects wouldn't be noticeable until several days of these levels. Common side effects of too much vitamin D include
Decrease in appetite.
Nausea and vomiting.
Increased thirst (polydipsia).
Confusion, lethargy and fatigue.
Muscle weakness and difficulty walking.
To be safe, make sure you take a good quality supplement and stay within the safety ranges. If you are getting vitamin D from the sun you will want to reduce the amount of supplement you take. Please do not be feared into not taking slightly high doses of vitamin D especially in the winter. A good quality vitamin D supplement is much safer and healthier than antidepressants.
Increasing vitamin D is my top tip for helping to get rid of winter blues. My other top recommendation is to get outside at least 30-60 minutes per day. I know this can be hard to do when it's 10 degrees and cloudy and you're feeling unmotivated and depressed. But getting outside and breathing fresh air will help to get rid of the blue feelings. It's best if you can take a walk. Even10-15 minutes at a time. Move your body and breath the fresh air! It is a huge boost of endorphins.
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