While some people feel the effects of the changing seasons more than others, I don’t know anyone whose mood isn’t altered by the loss of light during the winter months. One proven method of counteracting symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and winter blues is light therapy.
According to the National Institute for Mental Health, sitting in front of a light therapy lamp first thing in the morning on a daily basis can help replace diminished sunlight during winter. Typically, these lamps filter out the ultraviolet rays and require 20-60 minutes of exposure to 10,000 lux of cool-white fluorescent light, an amount that is about 20 times greater than ordinary indoor lighting.
While there are a lot of options out there, I bought and love this best-selling light therapy lamp for a few reasons:
• It’s just enough light for me. I get what I need — a dose of happy light, as the product name suggests — but it’s not like I’m staring at a spotlight during interrogation.
• It’s not that expensive. Some light therapy lamps cost a few hundred bucks, and while they may be worth it for some, I just wanted to try it out. The under-$30 price tag worked for me.
• It travels. I haven’t taken it on a trip yet, but I plan on using it to help me overcome jet lag when I fly more than a couple of time zones away. It’s small, lightweight and easy to pack.
• It’s actually kinda cute. It doesn’t take up much space on a desktop, countertop or cabinet, so it doesn’t mess with your decor.
• And apparently, it can also be good for your pets. Says Amazon reviewer Jessa (one of 4,000+ positive reviewers):
“I love this light. It makes me feel way better when it’s grim and dark and wintery. It’s very bright, and just what I was looking for. I guess my cat missed the sun too, because she makes a point of lying in front of it when it’s on, and it makes her less grumpy. Light therapy for elderly cats: highly recommended. Light therapy for people: also recommended.”