Expose Yourself to Sun Therapy!
By Neisha Potter, MSW, PCSW
Sun exposure can be efficacious to sustaining your overall health. One advantage of soaking up the rays is potentially increasing your mood. Studies have shown a correlation between depression and vitamin D. Low levels of vitamin D may increase a person’s risk of depression. Although research continues to unfold, it is important to expose yourself to “sun therapy” and soak in the rays.
According to Healthline, studies were able to identify low vitamin D levels in participates who had a diagnosis of depression and believe the wondrous rays of the sun impact brain function. Healthline recommends 15 minutes to 2 hours of sun exposure per day, depending on your climate, to maintain vitamin D efficiency. There are other factors you should reflect on to determine the amount of sun required to maintain healthy vitamin D levels such as age, skin tone, altitude, obesity, and age.
Encouraging yourself to spend time in the sun may be a difficult challenge for those experiencing major depressive disorder. Depression can make it difficult to function, concentrate, feel energetic, or become enthusiastic about social activities. Find an accountability friend who you trust to encourage you to spend some time in the great outdoors under the rays of the sun to boost your mood. If you do not have a friend who is encouraging, try to locate a support group.
The best treatment is always from natural sources such as direct exposure to the sun; however, you may also consider consulting with your healthcare provider about vitamin D supplements. Never add a supplement to your diet without consulting your physician. There are also foods you can incorporate into your diet to improve your vitamin D levels.
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