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Spending 10 to 15 minutes outside can help improve mental health

A little Vitamin D can go a long way
Published: Feb. 9, 2022 at 6:18 PM CST
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PEORIA (HEART OF ILLINOIS ABC) - In the winter time, dealing with the cold, wintry weather, and lack of sunlight can negatively affect your mental health. Typically in winter, we have shorter and more cloudy days compared to summer.

Lack of sunlight can lead to Vitamin D deficiencies, which can impact your mental health. Getting outside for just 10 to 15 minutes is enough to provide you with enough vitamin d to help boost your mood and improve your mental health.

Dr. Luke Dalfiume, a Clinical Psychologist from Christian Psychological, said “When you go further south, closer to the equator where you have more sunlight throughout the year, more exposure to it, the seasonal effective rates go down. Seasonal effective disorder goes up the further north you go.”

Days like Wednesday where it is mostly sunny and highs are in the forties, more people are likely to get out, run errands and do things they enjoy. Candy Heady, a Pekin resident, said “Oh this is much better. The sun is shining, it’s a little bit warmer, feels more like you’re getting closer to spring. You’re able to get out and about.”

Even when it’s cloudy you can get some of the sun’s rays and get vitamin D, you might just have to spend more time outside. You can also try light therapy, visit a psychologist, or take a Vitamin D supplement, but some say they prefer the sunlight more than the over the counter solution.

Maddison Barnard, another Pekin resident, added “I used to [take Vitamin D supplements], and I just found that literally 5 to 10 minutes just being outside is better than trying to remember to take something everyday.”

By the end of February we will gain just over 45 minutes of daylight. Spring is just under 40 days away, and so is the warmer weather!

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