This time of year, it's easy to only be outside while you are going from your house to your car to your job and back again. But I often forget why that's such a big mistake. And if I get into that cocooned ritual, it's not very long before I start feeling depressed and sad and fatigued and just plain cranky.
And then I remember, I need my vitamin D. And there's really only one easy way to get it. Go outside and stay there, in the sunlight, and soak it in. Better yet, go for a walk. Even bundled up, just getting some sunlight directly into your eyeballs can really spark life up again. It may even clear your mind. Sure, visiting a Caribbean island is always preferable. But with airport security the way it is these days, flying is such a hassle.
The other day I was starting to feel myself sinking into the darkness of the middle of winter. I was into the second week of a wicked cold. But I looked out my window at work and saw the sun shining. I rushed home, bundled up, and did a few laps in my driveway with the dogs and Pumkin the cat (she follows me on walks as if she's a dog!). I only lasted about 15 minutes, between the cold and the sun starting to go down, but it helped me turn the corner from dismal and return to delight. I think it even helped kick out my cold.
It's only a few more months until spring. Until then, don't forget your vitamin D.
For more from Maria Rodale, go to www.mariasfarmcountrykitchen.com.