Winter is one of the worst times of year for me, and it has nothing to do with the weather. Every year around Autumn, like clockwork, I begin retreating into a shell of myself. While everyone around me is pumped because the gym is quieter and they can finally layer their favourite clothes, I, in contrast, can barely muster enough energy to get out of bed, or leave the house — basically I hibernate.
For many Winters, I've chalked my symptoms down to some form of Seasonal Affective Disorder and have attempted to "treat" how terrible I feel by doing things like regulating my sleeping pattern so I feel more rested and drinking matcha instead of coffee for the energy boost. It wasn't until I was forced to use a vitamin D oral spray I accidentally bought that I saw the error of my ways.
Although we get a natural vitamin D top-up when we're exposed to direct sunlight, darker skinned people who have more melanin have a harder time absorbing it during the Winter when sunlight is less prevalent, meaning they tend to be most deficient in the vital supplement. I'm not exaggerating when I say that after eight weeks of use, it's changed two major aspects of my Winter wellness.
Better mental health
When you suffer from a common diagnosed mental disorder, you know that identifying your triggers is one of the best ways to maintain your mental health. While the approach of Winter usually signalled the beginning of a mentally and emotionally draining period for me, the past two months have been the first time in a long time that dejection hasn't felt like my default mood.
Although it's unclear what role vitamin D plays in lessening depression and anxiety, endless studies and research have shown that people deficient in the vitamin show a significant reduction in the symptoms of their mental disorders when prescribed a healthy dose of vitamin D.
My energy levels were the first thing to change after making the spray a daily staple. Although I do sometimes feel fatigued at the end of a long day like everyone else, I no longer wake up feeling like it everyday — and that's a big game changer for me!
Where in the past I would shut myself off from Friday to Sunday evening and spend all weekend catching up on sleep to recover from the fatigue caused by a gruelling week of working leisurely at my desk and a few lunchtime spin classes, I now spend my weekends being more socially active.