In an attempt to avoid spiraling into seasonal depression again this winter, I am conducting a little experiment of which my late meemaw would have been proud. After doing a bit of reading about the “sunshine vitamin”, vitamin D, I’ve realised that I probably put myself at risk of deficiency – I dislike and therefore actively avoid direct sunlight, I live in Northern Europe, I always use factor 30 sunscreen and I don’t eat many vitamin D containing foods. It dawned on me when I read the possible symptoms – malaise, fatigue, muscle weakness, bone pain, hormone issues, depression, gum disease – all of which I have, and it’s even been implicated in asthma and autism, so I’d be an idiot not to investigate.
So my experiment is thus: each day this winter I will sit outside in the sunshine (weather allowing) for at least 5 minutes without sunscreen, and with as much exposed skin as I (and my neighbours) can bear.
I’m not very good at doing nothing, so to start with I will count this as a coffee break and take a cup of coffee out with me. I would like to eventually use the time to practise doing nothing, however this year, in the interests of science, I want to make the amount of sunshine I collect the only experimental variable, so that I can compare it to last winter as my sort of ‘control group’.
I’ll give you an update periodically but I probably won’t have any ‘results’ until at least February as January is usually my most difficult month!
© Catastraspie, 2011.
I have had great results from a similar experiment. Have you had and positive results?
I keep meaning to post an update. I think it did work, not amazingly, but I had a difficult winter and that made it harder to tell. However I didn’t have a major depressive episode. Please tell me more about your experiment – I’m really pleased it worked for you! 🙂