Updated: Mar 30
While overexposure to the sun is never a good idea, between Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), and Pandemic Affective Disorder (PAD) – what psychologist Martin Klein refers to as “SAD on steroids” – in coming out of a period of depression and anxiety brought on by the coronavirus, it would appear that exposure to the sun is vital to many Americans this year!
In terms of SAD, it’s important to point out that it’s not the lack of sunlight that’s the problem – it’s the lack of vitamin D. So, although the shortest day of the year is in late December, vitamin D levels don’t actually bottom out until March, after which time the body starts making it again.
Studies confirm that vitamin D replacement relives symptoms of SAD. Moreover, increasing intakes of certain foods – fish, fruits and vegetables – can also enhance the power of vitamin D to elevate mood. The good news is that making simple lifestyle changes this summer can boost vitamin D. The following are a few ideas:
* Start a no-SAD diet. With the arrival of summer’s fresh seafood and produce, it’s a great time to make dietary changes to vitamin D and nutrient-packed foods that anyone who suffers from SAD should start eating now.
* Become “sun-savvy.” Sunlight is a primary source of vitamin D, but most of us don’t get enough of it. Chronic underexposure can actually be more dangerous than overexposure. You need to use a sunscreen and avoid overexposure to be sure, but you also need enough sun to increase vitamin D levels.
* Consider vitamin D supplements. Supplements are often necessary, but do you know which one to buy? What dosage to take? Take the time to investigate.
Sources: James E. Dowd, M.D., author of “The Vitamin D Cure,”; Marin Klein, clinical psychologist in Connecticut; and Employee Assistance Report (EAR). NOTE: This post is an example of the timely tips and trends appearing in EAR - but EAR is struggling financially. For a sample copy, call 715-445-4386 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Do so TODAY!