If you know my story than you know I have battled depression for the last eight years or so. My triggers come in all forms: being too stressed, recalling on a bad memory, being in unfamiliar places and being alone for long periods of time. Unfortunately all of those things are unexpected and come up at any time. The tactics I have learned to cope with those triggers are things I must constantly remind myself of. Fighting depression is a day-to-day battle and can be so easy to get sucked into.
Recently I had the opportunity to travel to a part of California I had never seen: Malibu. Since I had never been to Malibu there was definitely some anxiety but it helped knowing that my sister was there for support and to experience the new surroundings with me. We spent the day at The Getty Villa Museum right along the coast. It was the most beautiful place I have ever seen and once I allowed the worry to fade I was able to soak up the sun and have the most amazing day I have had in a while.
An article in the U.S. National Library of Medicine suggests that vitamin D has healing effects:
“Most individuals in this country have insufficient levels of vitamin D. This is also true for persons with depression as well as other mental disorders…Effective detection and treatment of inadequate vitamin D levels in persons with depression and other mental disorders may be an easy and cost-effective therapy which could improve patients’ long-term health outcomes as well as their quality of life.”
Spending the day on the beach in the sun, with the cool breeze running through my hair with my nose tucked in a book about Roman and Greek Mythology was such a great way for me to relieve some of the stress I had been feeling. I didn’t realize how much I needed the change of routine and a chance to experience something new until I was in the midst of it. The best part of the day was that it did not cost me a lot: besides gas money, the whole day was only USD $15.00, which went toward museum parking. It is amazing how many free things there are to do, like outdoor museums, and how much those things can really rejuvenate, heal and provide relaxation.
When life is really hitting hard, the stress is building and you can’t seem to find a release, spend a day in the sun. You might be surprised at how much better you feel. Better yet, share the experience with someone you love or who offers you encouragement and support.