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Anyone who has lived in the pacific northwest, more specifically Washington, knows that sunshine is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. And in the month of March, we have multiple spring fever-inducing days that feel like we’ve struck gold. But in the sad reality, there are only a handful of these sunny warm days, and our true Seattle summers are still months away. Here are some ways to cope with the rain until the sun is here to stay! 

 

Seasonal depression, otherwise known as seasonal affective disorder, is very real. If you are one of the lucky ones unaware of this, it’s what happens when an individual resides in an area that receives less sunlight during one time of the year, and in Seattle that is in the Winter months. But there are many ways to cope with the lack of blue skies and sunny days! One of the best ways is through specific kinds of light therapy! 

 

While it can be frustrating to have to put money towards what should be accessible natural light, these light therapy options are well worth the therapeutic relief that comes with it! Light therapy lamps vary from starting prices of around $39 up to nearly $200! Nearly all options are great, with prices varying more with the visual look of the lamp rather than the light source amenities! But as you shop for light therapy lamps, please keep the following in mind. Sourced from the Mayo Clinic’s article on understanding the lightbox, they recommend that the lightbox should “provide an exposure to 10,000 lux of light with the smallest amount of UV light emission as possible." It is best used within your first hours of being awake in the mornings for about 20-30 minutes! 

 

Naturally, light and sunshine help regulate our mind and body functions by allowing for the regulation of our own natural cycles. When the light becomes minimal in seasons of cloudy and rainy days on end, our natural cycles can often suffer. This can include feelings of not wanting to be as productive, social, or active as you might normally feel. Investing in a light therapy box is a great way to induce the effects of natural light to better your sleep schedule, your active desires, and overall mood! Hopefully whichever lightbox you choose will help you through to the final stretch before the sun in our rooms shines from the bright blue skies rather than the cute little box on our desk! 

 

Mara Balfour

Washington '23

Mara Balfour is a sophomore student at the University of Washington currently majoring in Cinema and Media Studies. Along with writing for HerCampus, she is the creative director of Mar Bee Designs, as well as a concert photographer. She hopes to tell stories through films and images that are just as beautiful as they are impactful.
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