Have you heard of seasonal affective disorder or SAD?
It’s a type of depression that usually affects us in the darker months. I had heard over the years, many people tell me they thought their SAD lamp worked but I didn’t think I needed one.
Until lockdown 2 – December 2021. Friends recommended one. Even their teenage daughter was getting out of bed in the morning with a spring in her step.
I put one on my windowsill in December 2020 and switched it on each morning.
Now, I’m not a Debbie Downer. I would never have thought it would make any difference but you know what – it worked.
1st January 2021 in the middle of lockdown, when the darkest sky was all around I had loads of energy. I went out and completed the Couch to 5K from January to March. Having never run and never been a sporty type of girl. This was good. (Yoga doesn’t class as sporty in my household full of badminton players).
Each morning I was up at 6 am – I drank tea in front of the light and read interesting books.
At 7.30 am I was out the door. Each day I would listen to Zoe Ball and her chat about breathing and walking and running for 30 seconds at a time.
I did have accountability friends who made a difference. It was harder to not bother going when you knew they would be posting their accomplishments. And not wanting to look like a failure gave me motivation to get out there. When I finally ran 5K I knew it had been worth it.
If you’re wondering if it would help you – don’t hesitate to try it.
The symptoms are not easy to spot. It can start with so-called “vegetative symptoms”.
You might notice an increased appetite with cravings for carbohydrates. The urge to sleep longer hours. Difficulty getting up in the morning. Feeling wiped out at work.
Researchers don’t yet know why some people develop SAD and others do not. The disorder can run in families and is more common among women.
Any eye-related concerns or a physical condition check with your doctor. Before using bright light therapy.