It’s around this time of year that my mood starts to flag a little. Waking up and gazing out of the window into the unending darkness feels uninspiring and gloomy; driving to work in lashing rain with the windscreen wipers on overdrive, watching grey clouds darken the skies mid-afternoon and feeling too tired to leave the house in the evening. At the moment it’s nice to still drive home in the light, but next weekend the clocks will go back and that will change.
I think that most people are aware of the term Seasonal Affective Disorder. Personally I have never been diagnosed with it or sought any kind of medical advice, I just know that during Autumn and Winter (especially during the darker months), I often feel very down, lethargic and find it difficult to get out of bed in the morning. I find myself avoiding making plans as I know I’ll feel so tired in the evenings and simply want to crawl into bed. I also often find myself feeling more anxious and having my brain go into overdrive – probably because I’m spending more time at home so I have more time to overthink things and worry. It’s estimated that 1 in 3 people suffer from SAD, with women 40% more likely to experience symptoms of the condition.
There are a few things that can be done to minimise the symptoms of SAD, including exercising, spending time outdoors, or cognitive behavioural therapy or light therapy. Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been trialling the Innolux Aurora SAD Light Box from Pure Lifestyle Wonders to try and minimise the gloomy feeling I get as the mornings and evenings get darker (and you can win one for yourself if you scroll to the bottom of this post!) You can use the Light Box by sitting 2-3 feet away from the light box and having it at eye level, and then just carrying on your normal activities such as eating, working or reading in front of it. This Light Box is 10,000 LUX meaning that just 30-45 minutes a day is usually sufficient – and the great thing about this lamp is that it can be dimmed as mood lighting for the rest of the day so it looks pretty lovely just sat on a shelf or coffee table.
I’ve found that the lamp makes a huge difference to how I’m feeling – just the other day I had it on quite brightly in the morning and it made me feel as if it was light and summer-y outside even though it was still dark. Just gazing at it whilst getting ready in the morning instantly lifted my mood. I’ve really found that using it every morning has meant that I don’t get the overwhelming feeling of gloominess in the mornings.
The good news is that the lovely people at Pure Lifestyle Wonders have given me a lamp to give away to a reader so that they can also feel the benefit of this amazing lamp (RRP £158.99). I am really excited to be able to give away something that will really be able to make a difference to someone’s life during these darker months (not to mention the fact that it looks lovely at home too!). There’s lots of opportunities to win – you can enter using the Rafflecopter widget below, and the giveaway ends at midnight on Monday 31 October. It’s open to UK entrants only (sorry international readers but the lamp is too large to post overseas).