March 04, 2021

Trying Out a Light Therapy Lamp

I did another bike ride today instead of C25K and walking, because my toe is still painful, but it's feeling a LOT better than it did a few days ago! It was hard to make myself go out to ride my bike today, though, because it's so cold. Yesterday it was in the 50's and then today I saw snow flurries. I can't wait for the weather to warm up! I miss opening all the garage doors and working on projects out there.

I mentioned yesterday that I've been in a really good mood recently. I've been working on healthier habits--not just diet and exercise, but sleep, more positive thinking, drinking lots of water, less procrastinating, and things like that. I always thought positive affirmations were kind of hokey, but I even decided to give those a try.

I also decided to finally try out a "light therapy lamp". This is another thing that sounded kind of ridiculous to me, even though several people have commented on past posts that I should try it. Light therapy lamps are meant to simulate sunlight, which helps people with seasonal depression (or "winter blues") from lack of sunlight.

I've always loved overcast weather and you will never find me lying in the sun. I just don't enjoy being outside in the sun. Until a few years ago, I always thrived during the fall and winter as far as depression goes. In retrospect, I would usually get hypomanic in the fall and then depressed in the spring. Since starting my medication for bipolar, however, things have changed.

I've been feeling depressed in the winter months and somewhat-hypomanic in the summer. The hypomania is nothing like it used to be before my meds, thankfully, but the depression can get bad. I've been trying to look for patterns to figure out something to help, and I finally decided to give the light therapy a try. It can't hurt! (There are no UV rays on the one I bought.)

I wasn't sure which one to buy, so I just went with the #1 bestseller on Amazon, which was this one (Amazon affiliate link). This is what it looks like:


I got the light therapy lamp last week and was very skeptical, but like I said--no harm in trying. I sat down in the morning to read my book and I turned the therapy light on, placing it at about the 10:00 position from where I was sitting. It's VERY bright (it comes with three settings, and I used the brightest, of course--I'm kind of an all-or-nothing person, if you hadn't noticed, haha). At first, I thought, "This looks nothing like sunlight!" but I found that as I was reading my book, the light didn't feel so "fake".

And, most shocking to me, I actually felt really good. I got a burst of energy and I cleaned the heck out of my closet (bagging up all of the clothes that are too small). I prepped dinner so that it would be easy to cook later. I even put together the sourdough starter to make Amish Friendship Bread. I didn't attribute the energy to the light therapy at that point, though--I just assumed it was a coincidence.

Over the last several days, I've used it for about an hour each morning while I read... and I am 100% convinced that it has helped my mood. Jerry even asked me why I was so "chipper" today, hahaha. Being in a better mood in general helps with so many other things and it makes the healthy habits I've been working on feel that much easier.

I think it's too early to say for sure that my good mood is due to the therapy lamp, but I am pretty convinced. I'm definitely nowhere near as skeptical as I was before. I'm going to continue to use it and see how it goes. (Feel free to say "I told you so!" ;)  I really wish I'd tried it years ago.)

10 comments:

  1. I was hesitant to get a light lamp too, but I gave in about three months ago and it was such a good investment! Also, I admire your perseverance working through the blister. I wore a pair of shoes that turned out to be worn out for two long walks last week and got a blister on day one, which got worse on day two. Your post really resonated. I shopped for new walking shoes on day 3, which arrived earlier this week!

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  2. I have one in my office at work and one in my office at home. It really helps - especially since it is gray about 60% of the year in Syracuse!

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  3. I've never heard of this before! I'm very curious now. Do you think it matters what time of the day you use it? The only time I have to sit down is usually closer to 7:00 at night. I wonder if the time of day matters? I could do it on the weekend mornings for sure though. I'm going to look into this!

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    1. From what I read, you're supposed to do it in the morning because it will likely give you energy (like it did for me). It's supposed to simulate daylight, so your body might get confused if you do it in the evening. I use mine anytime I'm sitting down, though, because it really does make me in a better mood!

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    2. Now I kind of want one for my desk at work! Lol. Thank you for your comment! I think I might try this out!

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  4. Hi Katie. Are you still posting your weight? Don’t want be intrusive but I’m curious.

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    1. No, I haven't done a Wednesday Weigh-In in a long time. Seeing the scale go up is depressing! Haha. I stopped caring so much about the numbers and care more about how I feel. I don't weigh myself very often anymore, but I'm definitely uncomfortable at this size. I *think* I've lost some recently because my clothes feel looser, but I don't want to see the scale yet. Maybe if my clothes go down a size, I'll check it out! ;)

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  5. If you do it at night, it can potentially mess with your circadian rhythms and make it hard to fall asleep at night.

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  6. Here's a positive quote for you.....Don't try to calm the storm,try to calm yourself,the storm will pass

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  7. I swear by my therapy lamp, it's saving my life. That said, being bi-polar you have to be careful, it can trigger mania in some cases (check it out)

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