How To Go Outside Despite Depression

woman-outside

Summer is here. Try taking a walk. The sun gives your skin vitamin D, which plays a role in the improvement (and cause) of depression. Studies show that the liver and kidney transform vitamin D into a hormone that aids in the release of neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and dopamine. A deficiency in vitamin D can cause depression, especially during colder months–you may have already heard of Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Besides, you know what else is great about summer? The smell of sweet green grass and scented flowers. Butterflies and moths fluttering around on their breathtaking wings. Trees shivering when meeting the breeze. Birds singing, and finally seeing something other than a pigeon or a seagull. You know, a bird that’s actually nice to look at.

You don’t have to go far, and you can start out once or twice a week.  You don’t need running shoes or workout gear. You only need yourself. You can bring music with you if you think you fear being stuck in your thoughts or bored.

Decide that you can at least do this one thing today for yourself. When you get back home, and maybe crawl back into bed, you’ll be glad that you got your body to move a little bit. You may even be energized and want to do a little more with your day.

The first few weeks can be hard to motivate yourself to go outside. Here is what helps me:

  • Having a destination: there’s a mall across the street from my home. I get groceries or wander around Wal-Mart. My siblings and father also live a walking distance from me.
  • Pep talks: I tell myself, “I just need to make it downstairs and through the door.”
  • Staying in the neighborhood:  I am seriously anxious about seeing anybody I know in public places, so I stay close to home at the moment. I don’t know many people in my neighborhood, so it’s easier for me to want to leave the house and take walks here.

The sun and nature are incredibly therapeutic tools to use. I hope you find comfort in them.

Resources:

Psychological consequences of vitamin D deficiency-Psychology Today

Vitamin D: Health Benefits, Facts & Research

How can I get the vitamin D my body needs?

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