A new edition to my morning & afternoon routine – light therapy. I’ve never been one to suffer from seasonal mood disorders, however this year I felt like I was in a funk during the winter months. I kept longing for spring/summer and wished the days were longer. Hell, my favorite day of the year is Winter solstice because the days start to get “longer” (more sunlight) until the summer solstice.
I remember Tim Ferriss had mentioned light therapy at one point in the late 2000’s in one of his blog posts so I decided to give it a shot. So I bought this Verilux Happy Light VT20 (non-affiliate) about a month ago to test out light therapy. Typically, I’m sort of bearish on all the woo-woo hand wavy “it will make you feel better” stuff, but I figured it was a small investment and it was not some Pharma that was being pushed.
I’ve been using it for about a month now and I’ve experimented by doing it for a week or so, and then not doing it. I’ve found that when I do use it, I do feel more energized, awake and positive about everything. When I don’t use it, I feel like I’m in a funk. This could be all placebo, who knows, but I do know that when I do use it I don’t feel the “funk” anymore.
Here’s how I use it:
After about 30 minutes of being awake (tea, meditation, etc) I fire it up for about 30 minutes. I then turn it off, and put it on a shelf. This is usually around 5-6am~ish. I then do it again when I get home from the office (usually around 4-pm5:30pm and then use it again for another 30 minutes). (The instructions on the box said to start with 10 minutes, then work up to 15-30 minute sessions, twice a day – so that’s what I’m doing.)
An important note – ease into this. I started with 10 minutes the first few days and I felt very different, almost kind light headed at first. Then once I got used to it I bumped it up to 15 minutes and progressed from there up to 30.
I place it to the left of my keyboard (as shown above) and keep it about 12 inches from my face. Yes, it’s bright AF, but you sort of get used to it if you’re doing a task on the computer.
Overall, I think it helps. I’ll continue to use it until daylight time > night time and then I’ll box it up until next season.