Those of us who live in the Pacific Northwest (PNW), live under a near-constant cover of clouds and rain that lasts over 300 days a year (depending on where you are up here). If you are up here, chances are you don't mind that. Chances are, you love those rainy days where you smell the wet fir trees while their branches shield you from the majority of the rainfall. Perhaps you might also be a Twilight fan, or definitely have heard of it. Most likely you quietly shame the "out of state" ex-pats who have moved into your town, hiking up your housing prices and causing the majority of the accidents on the road!!---- Oh, excuse me. I got carried away there. Regardless if you love it here or are too poor to move, one thing 90% of us have in common is low vitamin D levels. In fact, it's a well-known thing around here (perhaps only to those from here *insert smug smirk and side-eye).
Side note: I'm actually not from here. HA! My husband and sons are though (another story for another day).
Our bodies naturally synthesize vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. All you need for a week’s worth of vitamin D that your body needs are 15 to 20 minutes in the sun....which 90% of us don't get. BUT, a recent study came out that actually showed that vitamin D does not cause depression. Meaning, you do not become depressed by lack of sun/vitamin d. You are either already prone to depression, or your mind naturally tends to get "sad" by the gloomy weather.
Collectively, the research on vitamin D supplementation and depression indicate that there’s a correlation between the two but not a causation. In other words, while depressed individuals may have lower levels of vitamin D, that occurrence did not cause them to develop the illness.
Regardless, there are other studies, studies specifically done in places like the PNW and other overcast places, where it does show that people who live there tend to deal with depression versus those who live in sunny locations. Why they choose to continue to live there....is not what this post is about.
I guess I can't speak for everyone, but there are a few things I do to stay happy and warm here in the PNW:
- I take vitamin d every day (haha! No, but seriously. This is very important). Ok, now being serious.
- I drink kratom tea. If you know me, then you know this is one thing I can't live without (just like some who cannot live with the internet). Plus, the act of tea drinking goes way back. Kratom is known for boosting mood, giving energy, relieving pain, boosting your workouts, and so much more.
- I dedicate me time every single day. If you can't take care of yourself, who can you take care of others?
- I enjoy nature, even on gloomy days.
- I make sure to do one selfish thing for myself a week (pedicure, shopping, etc).
- I make a list every morning of my blessings/what I'm thankful for. Sometimes we need a reality check and realize how good we have it compared to some others in the world.
What to take away from all this:
- People can no longer say that lack of vitamin d causing depression.
- Kratom tea keeps you warm AND happy.
- Leave the pacific northwest if you hate the weather.
- Count your blessings, because most likely if you do, you will see your life a little bit brighter.