29 May Has Winter Got You Down?
I grew up in the northern hemisphere and can remember craving sunlight when it appeared! I was always much happier on a sunny day.
Our winter season seemed to go on forever, and often ran into spring and summer. It was the grey sky that got to me, as it seemed to hang only a few inches above your head. Treating clients at NatMed I have noticed a downturn in mood during the winter months, and it’s not solely due to the colder mornings.
As a teenager I used to suspect that I suffered from S.A.D – Seasonal Adjustment Disorder, which is now classed as a major depressive disorder, associated with a combination of complex factors. So I like to class it as the “winter blues”, although I do believe that there is some extremely relevant science behind it.
We all now recognise that sunlight is essential for healthy vitamin D levels. More recent research has revealed that vitamin D, amongst its many roles, also enhances mood. Scientists have directly linked vitamin D fluctuations with changing levels of serotonin in the brain, so it makes sense that serotonin turnover is lowest in the winter and directly related to the duration of bright sunlight.
Ideally we need 10-15 minutes exposure per day on approximately ¼ of our bodies.
So get out for that morning walk even if it is difficult to crawl out of that warm bed. It will definitely lead to an improvement in your mood!
I thank my lucky stars that at least in Australia those heavy grey days are few and far between.