Spending 10 to 15 minutes outside can help improve mental health

PEORIA (25 NEWS) – In winter, dealing with cold, wintry weather and lack of sunlight can take a toll on your mental health. In winter we usually have shorter and cloudier days compared to summer.

Lack of sunlight can lead to vitamin D deficiencies, which can affect 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 at 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 clutter increases the further north you go.”

Days like Wednesday, where it’s mostly sunny and highs hover around forty degrees, are likely to see more people get out, run errands, and do things they enjoy. Candy Heady, a resident of Beijing, said: “Oh, this is so much better. The sun is shining, it’s a little warmer, it feels more like you’re getting closer to spring. You can go out and walk.”

Even when it’s cloudy, you can get some of the sun’s rays and get vitamin D, so you may need to spend more time outside. You can also try light therapy, see a psychologist, or take a vitamin D supplement, but some say they prefer sunlight over the over-the-counter solution.

Maddison Barnard, another Beijing resident, added: “I used to [take Vitamin D supplements]and found that literally 5-10 minutes just being outside is better than trying to remember to have a drink every day.”

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

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