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My Winter Funk

I have lived in England twice; the first time in 2011 – 2012 and the second since from December 2015 until now. Prior, I had lived near Seattle for a year. What does all that have in common? Lack of sunshine for a long period of time.

Never have I been a worshipper of the sun. Growing up in Brisbane, Australia meant I had access to great beaches and an outdoor lifestyle. This coupled with the strong warning that too much sun can lead to skin cancer. The slip, slop, slap campaign Australia marketed for years (URL) has been burned (ha) in my psychie. Like most Australians, we take the weather for granted and fortunately miss out on the affects of seasonal disfunction syndrome.

Unfortunately for me I feel like I am in the middle of my first winter funk. Those that know me would say that I am a very motivated and optimistic personality with a “seize the day” attitude. I get up early in the morning with my daily routine, log a workout and then start my day. I am constantly reading books, learning new things, experimenting in order to become the better version of myself. Yet lately, it takes me longer to get out of bed and I’m lacking the motivation to get things done like I used to. I have started questioning myself on what is going on! The #BeastFromTheEast hasn’t helped either helped either.

After reflecting on this situation I focused on my diet (normally strict primal however loose eating and treating of late), sleeping (new apartment with a smaller bed) and my current Vitamin D levels (i.e. sun exposure). Given I’m a data guy I collect data on what I eat, how much I exercise, the quality of my sleep and my Vitamin D levels. The only problem is that I hadn’t used my normal Vitamin D tracking application (see my post on dMinder) for months. Why? During the autumn/winter months you cannot get Vitamin D from the sun given it never rises higher than 30 degrees; above 30 is when you actually get UV-B rays (which your body coverts into Vitamin D).

Vitamin D Test

I found an organisation (Betteryou) offering a relatively cheap Vitamin D test for £28. A week after submitting the test my results were returned stating I had an adequate level of Vitamin D. Huh? I know I take supplements however I didn’t think they would have been adequate. Who knew?

Next Steps

Today I leave for Singapore to complete the second of three courses at INSEAD. One of the side benefits will be the exposure to beautiful sunshine and heat! Although I have adequate levels of Vitamin D I believe that seasonal dysfunction syndrome is real. Furthermore, having two weeks of access to the sun and warmth will do me some good. It will enhance my mood and put that extra spring (excuse the pun) back into my step. This isn’t something I have had to deal with before however I am looking forward to the trip to see if it is what has been causing my winter funk! Let the games begin!

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