We’ve been talking a lot about physical health lately, so I want to talk a little bit about mental health too. Fitness and overall health 100% includes mental. In fact, stress relief is the number one reason that I work out. Studies have proven that exercise produces endorphins, chemicals in your brain that are feel-good neurotransmitters. It also reduces stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol, in your body. In addition to that, exercise helps you sleep better and can also improve your self-image. All of these things are positives when dealing with mental health. So let’s talk a little bit about chasing away the winter blues.
Living in Vermont can be rough on mental health, especially for those with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD is a mood disorder that is characterized by depression that occurs at the same time each year. Even those of us without SAD find the winter months can be tough. It is cold, dark and dreary and seems to go on forever. This year winter has seemed to hit me pretty hard. I’m still exercising daily, I’m socializing with family and friends and I’m overall in a good place… the really gloomy days are pulling my mood down. To help me get through the next couple of months, I decided to get myself a happy light.
A happy light, if you’re unaware, is a 10,000 watt lamp that provides full spectrum light without the harmful UV rays. It gets positioned in front of you for a certain amount of time each day. I’m using it in the mornings as I get ready for work – so typically about 30-40 minutes. You could also bring it to work, or use it in the evenings as you relax after a long day. My oldest use to use one in the mornings for a sleep disorder – the light was suppose to help wake her up and reset her internal clock. As you can see, there are a lot of positives to these little lights. Sidenote – they make for a great light for selfies! 😉
I ended up getting the light below from Amazon (affiliate link for your convenience) for $25.99 (it had a 5% coupon that I was able to apply).
It has 3 brightness settings and a timer that you can set. It is compact and has a little stand so that you can set it up just about anywhere. The price couldn’t be beat and I’m happy with it.
What do you do to help with the winter blues?