Why Does the Winter Season Affect My Mood?

If the winter months aren’t your favorite season, you certainly are not alone! The winter season can come with its own struggles and less-than-ideal outdoor environments at times.

Did you know that the change in season can actually affect your mood as well?

Daily sunlight exposure is important in maintaining our vitamin D levels as well as helping us keep our hormone levels in balance to avoid symptoms of a mental health condition called seasonal affective disorder.

We want you to stay healthy and get the most out of the winter months, so our AFC Urgent Care Hixson team explains how to support your body through the rest of the season below.

What Is the Relationship Between the Sun and Vitamin D?

The essential vitamins that we need to maintain a healthy body can be found in many places, including the sun! When our skin is exposed to natural sunlight, our bodies start producing vitamin D. Having proper vitamin D levels is critical to building and maintaining strong bones.

Exposure to sunlight is also important in regulating our circadian rhythms and our hormones. Since the sun is not out as long or as strong during the winter, we can easily find ourselves spending all of our days inside. This can contribute to seasonal affective disorder, which is a mental health condition that can cause symptoms similar to depression.

Easy Ways to Get Exposed to the Sun

  • Take a nature walk.
  • Do some outdoor chores.
  • Bring your workout outside.
  • Volunteer at a park or garden.

Am I Getting Enough Sun Exposure?

For most people, spending 10 to 30 minutes outside in the middle of the day is enough to maintain healthy vitamin D levels. If you don’t, you could eventually end up with a vitamin D deficiency and trouble with your bone density.

It can also help ward off symptoms of seasonal affective disorder! Since this disorder occurs during the fall and winter months, doing all you can to get outside and enjoy time in the sun can be really helpful in managing any feelings of isolation, loneliness, irritability or depression. But remember to protect your skin when you’re outdoors, and talk with your care team about a supplement if you still aren’t getting enough vitamin D.

Signs Your Body Is Low on Vitamin D

  • Constant fatigue
  • Bone pain or achiness
  • Hair loss
  • Depression
  • Frequent illnesses

Our AFC Urgent Care Hixson team is always here for you. Come see us today.