How vitamin D and wellness are linked 

As the weather gets warmer, people find themselves spending more time outdoors, and with that, getting lots of Vitamin D, which is linked to mental health and physical recovery. Illustration by Zaire Diaz/The Daily Campus

As the weather gets warmer and the sun comes out, it can be quite refreshing to spend some time in nature. Vitamin D can even be an important tool in the process of mental health and physical recovery.  

Vitamin D, which we primarily get from the sun’s UV rays, plays an important part in both our mental and physical health. Since vitamin D is not found in many foods, it is important that you spend time in nature to get enough sun-delivered nutrients. Most people are vitamin D deficient, which can lead to many problems.  

Not having enough vitamin D can lead to depression-like symptoms. It is important to note that vitamin D is not the only cause of depression. Rather, research shows that people who experience moderate to severe depression usually have vitamin D deficiencies, as depression causes individuals to isolate more. People with depression usually spend more time alone and indoors, leading to vitamin D deficiencies along with feelings of loneliness.   

If you experience a vitamin D deficiency and also struggle with mental health issues, it is important that you find ways to incorporate vitamin D into your life. One way you can do this is by simply spending time outside. Now that the weather is getting nicer, this is much easier to do than it was during the winter months.  

Instead of doing your studying in your dorm, try sitting on the patio at the library or at a café. You can also find a spot on the Great Lawn or by Mirror Lake. Spread out a blanket over the grass and enjoy the sun! Another way to get some exercise and vitamin D is to try taking a walk or a hike. You can take a walk up Horsebarn Hill or grab a treat at the UConn Dairy Bar. There is also a wonderful nature trail near Horsebarn Hill if you want to take a short hike. The larger Mansfield area also has multiple hiking spots for longer hikes.  

Another option for increasing your vitamin D intake is to take supplements. You can get vitamin D supplements at almost any pharmacy or grocery store and you can order them online through a realtor such as Amazon. Getting enough vitamin D can help increase your body’s calcium levels, which can in turn aid the health of your bones and teeth. Vitamin D can also improve your immune system, which can help fight infections and illnesses such as COVID-19. In addition, getting enough vitamin D can decrease symptoms of depression and help regulate your mood better. 

By getting enough vitamin D, you can improve your life in many ways. Hopefully with the weather being warmer and campus being in full bloom, you can spend more time outdoors and be able to fully enjoy the rest of your semester!  

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