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Importance of Vitamin D on Dreary and Sunny Days

Rain and cloudy skies have taken place over the past three days. The rain would be a light drizzle, and would then begin to pour, pour, and pour.

I’m not sure how much rain our area has actually received over the past three days so far, but I’m sure it has been a couple of inches. Unfortunately, with a couple of inches of rain, it could lead to flood watches and warnings.

The dangers of driving begin to increase, the stresses of trying to control rain water as it continues to pile up increases, and our motivation becomes bland. True too, we begin to feel depressed, tired, and just wanting a sunny day. The overcast and dreary weather does not help our emotions and moods sometimes.

So, how can we stop the April dreary showers and overcast weather from being so bothersome to our mental health?

We can begin to first understand how the sunshine truly benefits our mental health, and how we can take control of our mental health on the dreary, depressing, and overcast days.

The Sunshine’s Vitamin: Vitamin D

Being outside during a beautiful spring or summer day, I really enjoy sitting in the sun, closing my eyes, and taking a deep breath. Sometimes, I add a bit of music to listen to bring peace to my mind.

Collecting that Vitamin D for our bodies can be significant to our health. When winter arrives, the sun isn’t out as much, and we are left craving for more of the sun and warmer weather.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) , “the major source of vitamin D for children and adults is exposure to natural sunlight.”

Vitamin D can help children and adults both with mental health as well as physical health.

NIH lists numerous positive health benefits that vitamin D provides including helping prevent certain kinds of cancers, protection from heart disease, decreased hypertension, improvements in depressive symptoms, and improve bone health.

To say the least, because we experience dreary, rainy days, it can cause us to feel bland, depressed, and tired ourselves. Ultimately, it is because we probably have not received enough vitamin D in our bodies yet.

Vitamin D insufficiency is a concern as well for human beings. The NIH shares, “Vitamin D insufficiency affects almost 50% of the population worldwide.”

The vitamin D deficiencies can be caused by an array of factors including environmental and lifestyle factors. The Franklin County community has plenty of resources to offer when it comes to getting out in the sunshine, enjoying the weather, and improving our health.

Resources that Franklin County has to Offer

Within the community, Franklin County has a great resource known as Healthy Franklin County.

Healthy Franklin County lists a plentiful number of events and hosts the Move for Mental Health. Starting June 1, 2024, programs for the GO (Get Outdoors) Franklin initiative will begin. For more information on those programs, visit the Move for Mental Health page.

Healthy Franklin County also provides numerous self-care resources including a Self-Care Assessment, Self-Care Plan Worksheet, the American Psychological Association Self-Care articles and Move Your Way-in Franklin County resource sheet for trails and walking paths.

All these resources can benefit each of us to not only continue to stay active but also experience the benefits of the sunshine on those clear and cheerful days of spring.

Other great programs and resources include the local state park websites or social media channels. Caledonia State Park is offering Kayaking from Sunrise and also Sunset here in April and the month of May. Pine Grove Furnace State Park, in Cumberland County, is offering two upcoming walks including a Furnace Walking Tour and Amphibian Night Hike.

I also highly recommend checking out the Franklin County Visitors Bureau and Visit Cumberland County website for more information on hiking trails, walking trails, and outdoor activities.

Regardless of all of the activities  and opportunities available, it can still be tricky to stay hopeful, cheerful, and in a pleasant mood, when it rains for three days straight. Staying active indoors can be beneficial too, but it is definitely not the same as letting the sunshine gleam on our faces.

Having a sun lamp or light therapy can also help on the dreary days of spring. Amazon, Target, Walmart, and Best Buy all have light therapy lights for reasonable prices.

In the end, taking care of our health is important, and our vitamin D absorption has numerous positive impacts on our bodies as well. Rainy and overcast days never really benefit our bodies, but benefit the earth.

Day by day, we just have to take each day with what we receive, weather wise. Three days full of rain showers and gray skies is not what we really had hoped for, but rest assured, the sun will be right behind some of those clouds, barely peeking out and ready for us to receive its natural benefits.

In the meantime, we might just have to continue doing the rain dance till we get the sunshine back.


Pamela K Coyle 1949-2024

Pam received her Master’s degree in library science from Clarion University in 1978. She never lost her love of reading or her enthusiasm for libraries.

Daily Forecast, April 21, 2024

Franklin County Forecast: In the forecast for today, we are expecting overcast clouds, with a high of 52.23°F and a low of 35.2°F. The humidity

Candie Sue Diffenderfer 1963-2024

Candie worked in the Prothonotary’s office at the Fulton County Courthouse, and later at Irving Accounting and U.S.A. Cartage in Williamsport, MD.

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