Blast The Winter Blues Away With Treatment You Can Get For A Bargain

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As you prepare breakfast it seems as if the sun barely rose and after a long day under a gray sky, you feel as if it’s painful to crack a smile during the bedtime reading.

The seasonal changes during fall and into winter mean shorter days, chillier weather, a lack of sunshine… and sometimes the winter blues.

However, the great news is you can help turn that frown upside down and revitalize your mood in the comfort of your own home!

Seasonal Affective Disorder, often appropriately called by its acronym SAD, is “similar to depression (such as feeling sad, listless, and sluggish) but occurs only during the late fall and early winter,” reports Harvard Health.

More well-known treatments of depression are medications and sessions with a mental health professional.

Both of these can be extremely helpful and necessary in many cases, but there is another treatment much more affordable and can be done right on your couch while you nurse your baby, check your email, or just take a moment for yourself.

Light therapy is where you sit close to a special light source every morning for at least 30 minutes.

This special light can not only improve SAD symptoms but also helps with major depression and post-partum depression, Harvard Health reveals.

Dr. Richard S. Schwartz, Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, told Harvard Health:

For both seasonal and nonseasonal depression, the effectiveness of light therapy is approximately the same as antidepressant medications, or popular forms of psychotherapy such as cognitive behavioral therapy.”

The popular journal shared a study that showed each different therapy improves depressive symptoms in between 40%-60% of people.

Combine medications or psychotherapy with light therapy and the statistics went up even more!

You may be wondering why you’re even dealing with SAD when last fall and winter you were perfectly fine!

Experts believe the drop in sunlight exposure is what triggers SAD because “[sunlight] affects complex systems that govern the 24-hour circadian clock in the brain, which regulates not just our sleep and wake cycles but also digestion, hormonal activity, and other important bodily functions”, reports Harvard Health.

Dr. Schwartz tells us:

Beyond setting our circadian clock, light exposure also seems to affect higher-functioning areas of the brain.”

Why should you choose light treatments?

For starters, the effects from the special light begin working immediately, whereas anti-depressants take several weeks to build up in your system – sometimes not taking effect until spring, when your mood is already beginning to perk up.

Also, there can be unwanted side-effects with medication such as weight gain and nausea.

Light treatments rarely have side-effects, although it can cause eye strain or headaches.

This unique and effective treatment is ideal for those who would prefer to avoid medication or tend to be in dark environments for long periods of time.

You can get the light box that emits 10,000 lux online from many different retailers and can check its authenticity by referring to the Center for Environmental Therapeutics.

Keep the light in front of you with your eyes open but don’t look directly into the light.

You can even read a book to your kids while you are doing it or eat your breakfast at the table with the family!

Pay attention to symptoms of depression in your children as well, because they too can get SAD.

But remember, no amount of light treatment can replace a stroll outside in the natural sunlight and fresh air, so bundle up and get outdoors as much as possible too.

Rest assured – sunny days are ahead!