Note to our readers: This blog is NOT a sponsored review. I did not receive any payment from the creators of HappyLight, nor was I asked by them to write this. This blog was written because I truly wanted to share my experience with their product with the Shadow’s Edge community.
I absolutely LOVE Fall.
I LOOOOOVE it so much. The sound of the crunchy, orange leaves and taste of hot apple cider. The light sweaters that aren’t crazy thick and hot, but still cozy enough. Easy strolls though the park with the crisp Autumn breeze. Everything about Fall makes me feel so happy. I am always excited to welcome my favorite season and I cherish this time of year as long as I can.
But now that it is November, I am reminded that soon Fall will be packing up her bags and heading out after her short yearly visit. Which means Winter is going to be coming over and crashing on our couch pretty soon.
Now that the seasons are starting to change and the days are getting shorter, I am reminded that I struggle with SAD.
Okay, wait… I should clarify. SAD is an acronym for Seasonal Affective Disorder, which is a type of depression that’s related to changes in seasons. It typically happens during a similar time of year for most people, and that is typically during the colder months. It’s where we get the term “winter blues” or “seasonal yuck.”
Understanding Seasonal Affective Disorder
I won’t be going too deep into the details of its causes and how to recognize it, but I will include a link to our most recent webinar! I hope you give it a watch if you want to learn more about the phenomenon of SAD.
I recently bought and tested out HappyLight.
In the webinar, Dr. Kristi Pikiewicz mentioned light therapy, which is a neat way to combat the seasonal mood changes caused by less sunlight and shorter days. I had been curious about them for a while, as I have struggled wit SAD since I was a teenager. I am always researching new ways to trick my brain into making more “happy hormones” when I need them. Happy Light is one of the more recognizable brands, so I went ahead and spent a little extra to get one of their HappyLight® Luxe lamps.
I am on the second week of using the HappyLight, and so far, I am really liking it!
You need to read over the manual to figure out the recommended settings for your needs. Like how long to sit next to the lamp, the color of the light, the intensity of the brightness, etc. After about a week, I have figured out the settings that work for me. I like it at the lowest level of brightness and the warmest white setting. I sit next to it for around twenty minutes at the beginning of my day while I do my daily journaling or while I stretch in the morning. That amount of light in that first twenty minutes of my day is almost more direct sunlight than I get through a whole day in wintertime!
The Pros and Cons
I think my favorite aspect of the specific model of lamp I bought it that it is really big.
It’s larger than an iPad, so you get a lot of light from such a slim little device. It also slips into a backpack or laptop case quite nicely, so it will come in handy when we travel home for the holidays. Despite how exciting the holiday season is… there still isn’t much sun for me to get the sunlight I need to feel happy. The portability means I can keep my usual early morning journaling and HappyLight time when we are staying in a hotel or guest room!
My least favorite aspect is that it can be a little pricey…
I paid around $70 USD for my specific model of HappyLight on Amazon. That’s pretty steep and not something I would usually spend for something that isn’t essential. But I do really struggle with SAD almost every day of every winter, so it’s something I felt like I actually needed and could benefit from. SAD sometimes prevents me from accomplishing my goals and makes the day-to-day a struggle. So, buying this thing has turned out to be well worth the price. And hey! It makes a really great Christmas gift, so if mom or dad are asking for ideas of what to get you this year… maybe ask for a HappyLight to get through this winter! There are cheaper models too, so don’t be afraid to shop around for a smaller, cheaper one to test out.
One other con is that it can be a little jarring when first turning it on. So if you decide to get one, don’t look directly at it when pressing the power button! It’s really bright and is uncomfortable for your eyes!
Overall, I have really enjoyed my HappyLight.
I am still struggling some with my mood as the day progresses into the evening, but the first half of the day is much much easier than it was before! And it’s made it easier to wake up in the morning (which is a very major struggle for me when the sun comes out later during winter). Waking up feeling good is also helping my sleep get back on track after a few weeks of not being able to fall and/or stay asleep. That’s helping me not feel as tired in the middle of the day like I was before. I have the energy I need to get things done and still have time to have fun once my work is done! Sure, maybe it’s a placebo. Maybe my brain is just convinced the light is helping me feel better. But dang! At least something is finally helping me not feel so blue as the days are getting darker!
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