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If the 4:30 p.m. sunset has got you feeling blue, you’re definitely not alone.
Starting as early at November, those who struggle with seasonal depression, or really any sort of depression, can feel stuck in a rut with no sunlight to help them feel better on dark days — literally.
First recognized in a 1984 study by Dr. Norman E. Rosenthal, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) affects a shocking one-fifth of the population on the Northeast Coast. Symptoms include increased appetite, social isolation and cravings for junk food.
Come winter, the lack of sunlight and vitamin D, disruption of sleep’s circadian rhythms and the isolation that occurs in colder months — especially now during a winter pandemic — are all factors that could contribute to someone’s seasonal or regular depression.
Now for some silver linings on this storm cloud: There are some therapies that may be able to help. Some swear by a light therapy lamp, exposing themselves for just 10 minutes a day to get some “fake sun,” while others take vitamin D supplements or find other ways to stay positive and relaxed. While none of these are a cure-all for the winter blues, the suggestions below may be the breath of fresh air and blue skies that help make the days a bit brighter.
Joovv The Go 2.0 Handheld Light, starts at $445
Perfect for an on-the-go light therapy session, the 2.0 version of the Joovv light is your new best friend this winter.
“The Joovv Go 2.0 is a handheld light therapy device that delivers red and near infrared (NIR) wavelengths with a cutting-edge, patented design. Sessions are designed to optimize cellular function, and improve overall health and wellness. The portable, powerful design of the Joovv Go allows for anywhere, anytime use of light therapy,” explains the product page.
The 2.0 model is available to pre-order, shipping out in January 2021. For those that want the most cutting edge device, the newest 3.0 models will also be available to pre-order for January as well.
If the home office doesn’t get enough sunlight to keep you motivated and happy, try adding a SmartLight lamp to the work-from-home set up.
From Bed Bath & Beyond, this desk lamp is the perfect size for any office space or living room side table, and has eight different light intensity settings to fully customize your exposure.
“By mimicking natural daylight, this LED light helps reduce eyestrain, allowing users to work or study for longer periods and with less fatigue,” reads the product page.
For when you can’t get outside, Nature Bright is the next best thing.
This tabletop light therapy lamp sold on Amazon combines both light and fresh air, as it has a built in personal air purifier as well. The contraption itself emits a 17,000 Kelvin UV-free light, which can uplift mood while keeping you safe from harmful rays.
Available on Amazon, the Nature Bright lamp is on sale, down to just $59.50 from the original $79.99, and includes free shipping.
For those looking for a new supplement to get a boost of vitamin D while the sun is hidden away, here is a great replacement.
From HUM Nutrition, Here Comes The Sun supplements contain a high potency vitamin D3, a vitamin usually absorbed through spending time in the summer sun, as well as help with your body’s natural calcium absorption. The softgel tablets are made with all vegan ingredients, making them easy to incorporate into any daily diet, and come in a pack of 30.
For another herbal supplement that doubles as a tasty addition to your morning coffee or tea, try Moon Juice’s Spirit Dust.
“Spirit Dust is a blissful adaptogenic blend of Reishi, Ashwagandha, Astragalus, Mimosa Bark, Dan Shen, Longan Berry & Goji that targets stress for relief of tension and irritability to calm and brighten mood,” reads the product page.
To use, simply combine one teaspoon of the powder to tea, coffee, milk or a breakfast smoothie and enjoy. The product is described to have a sweet and nutty taste, a yummy addition to a chai latte or a hot cocoa in the winter.
Vitruvi Stone Diffuser, $119
While not a chemical remedy for SAD, you can’t help but be in a better mood after breathing in the soothing smells of essential oils with a Vitruvi diffuser.
The stone diffuser comes in five aesthetically pleasing colors, including charcoal, black, white, terra-cotta and a blush pink. To use, simply fill the device with water up to the designated line, add 20 to 25 drops of your favorite pure essential oils and then return the cap and select a time setting for even dispersion all day.
Last but not least, it’s been said that having plants growing in your space can uplift moods and provide a sense of motivation and accomplishment as you take care of your new living friends.
Consider a subscription to a house plant company like The Sill, which sends a new plant to your pad every month. Or, for those that want to start slow and develop their green thumb, try just one of the many a la carte options, like the low-light loving Calathea Rattlesnake or one that doubles as an air purifier like the bestselling ZZ Plant.