Vitamin D – My favourite way to get Vitamin D is by spending time outside in the sunshine. However here in Canada that is about to become difficult. Vitamin D is often referred to as the “sunshine vitamin” because your skin produces it when exposed to sunlight. Spending time outside for 10-30 minutes a day can help boost your vitamin D levels. You can also eat foods rich in vitamin D: Fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel are excellent sources of vitamin D. Other foods that contain vitamin D include egg yolks, cheese, and mushrooms. Another option is to take supplements. The daily recommended intake varies greatly with some source suggesting Canadians should take up to 4000 IU during the winter. This is where I will direct you to your doctor or naturopath to help you make that decision. Source. Low levels of Vitamin D are also linked to depression. In their article, Dr Pallavi Joshi, Consultant Psychiatrist, and Dr Sneha Rajiv, Consultant, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Manipal Hospital, Bengaluru state that Vitamin D is known to stimulate the release of happy hormones such as serotonin and dopamine.“…In other words, there is a link between low levels of Vitamin D and depression or dementia, particularly among women. This has been borne out by several studies. Till now, vitamin D has not been proven to be the direct cause of depression or dementia. However, in cases of depression, low levels of the vitamin might increase the risk of developing a condition or worsening existing symptoms.”
Sing – Did you know that singing reduces the amount of cortisol in your body? Besides breathing techniques which we have talked about before, singing is one of the quickest ways to reduce your cortisol. Belt out your favourite song in your car, kitchen, or shower. It will improve your immune system, increase your pain threshold, help you deal with grief and improve your mood. To take this further singing as part of a group or choir is even more beneficial. Interesting according to this article from Psychology Today 1 in 6 adults participate in some type of Chorale. Those who do report they feel less lonely, have stronger relationships, feel connected and it boosts their optimism. If you are looking for a way to get involved in your community look for a chorale or choir you can join, and make sure you invite me when you perform, I would love to be there!