The holiday season is here! In my opinion, NYC is the best place to be during the holiday season.
I’ll be spending my 18th year here and it never gets old. In fact, I’d say it gets better every year. The only thing better than Christmas in New York, is the first Sunday of November (aka New York City Marathon Day).
This time of year also signals the end of the sunny days and the beginning of the dark, cloudy days of winter.
Without taking the necessary precautions, the short, grey colored days of winter in the northeast wreak havoc on my mental state – I crave sugar in illegal amounts, am tired no matter how much sleep I get and never seem to want to leave my apartment. After years of living in the northeast, I finally realized that I need sunshine and warm weather to feel my best and that the short, cold days of winter leave me feeling depressed. Every spring I would feel a sense of relief as the veil of winter darkness lifted and the sun stood strong in the sky.
For years, I contemplated doing light therapy in the winter, but didn’t really buy into the idea that I had the winter blues. After reading a ton of studies and articles on the subject of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and light therapy, I decided to give it a go. I purchased a light box specifically designed to treat SAD.
Even if it is a placebo, using a light therapy box totally changed my outlook during the winter months.
I woke up 30 minutes early nearly every single day last year in order to get in the recommended dosage of light and to establish a consistent schedule. After adjusting to an earlier wake-up time, I found I really enjoyed my morning sessions. I committed to spending this time reading and not on social media or doing work. I came to love my new morning routine! It helped me start my day off on a good note. I felt more energized, stopped craving so much sugar and slept better.
Here are some resources to learn more about how light therapy works and a link to the light I use.
Q & A On Light Therapy – Columbia University
This is the light box I purchased and used for the past two winters. It can be used easily in a variety of settings, including at a desk while working. Before deciding to use light therapy yourself, it’s important to talk to your physician to find out if light therapy could be a good option for treating your symptoms.
If you also struggle during the winter months, know that you aren’t alone and there are things you can do to feel more like yourself.