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  • Dr. Joan Irvine

Fall is Here and So Is SAD

I absolutely, positively LOVE Spring and Summer! Those long, sunny, warm days with sunrises at 5:45 and sunsets at 8:05 are pure magic to me. June 21st, the longest day of the year, is a date I cherish.

During this time, I'm more energized than ever. I exercise outdoors, revel in going out, and stay out longer because the daylight lingers. I feel fantastic, overflowing with positivity, almost giddy as I soak in the glorious energy and light that nourishes both my body and mind. Add a 5 mg cannabis gummy to this equation, and I'm in absolute heaven.

A perfect summer night for me is wonderfully simple: being out with friends in Riviera Village, dancing for hours. Dancing is my preferred form of exercise; I choose it over a fitness center any day ( I relish the short walk home and feel perfectly safe as a single woman in my Village. Strolling along the Esplanade, gazing at the dark ocean, the lights of nearby residences, the southern lights of Palos Verdes Hills, and the northern lights of Malibu, I greet fellow promenade wanderers. This is a paradise for me, a source of community and connection.

Along the way, I often pause on the sitting wall overlooking the ocean, listening to the waves, inhaling the sweet, salty ocean air, and connecting with the ocean's energy—a nourishing experience for both body and mind. I'm acutely aware of how fortunate I am to live where I do.

But then comes Fall and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). It's a time that can potentially bring on depression during the fall and winter months. It's believed that shorter days and reduced daylight may trigger a chemical change in the brain, leading to symptoms of depression and lethargy.

I used to dismiss this concept, considering it as nothing more than "new age" rhetoric. The suggestion that Light Therapy lamps could help treat SAD seemed even stranger. Mainstream medicine often recommends antidepressants, and while I have nothing against them as an alternative, I prefer to start with natural remedies first.

Around 20 years ago, I decided to give light therapy a chance to see if it could help with my SAD. Surprisingly, it did, and it has since become a crucial part of my coping strategy during the dark months of Fall and Winter. I have been transformed into a believer and advocate for Light Therapy lamps.

Thankfully, over time, SAD and Light Therapy have become more accepted in mainstream circles, no longer relegated to the realm of voodoo. Today, as Fall begins, I've already started using my full-spectrum light lamp. What's fantastic about it is that it doesn't require any special effort. I keep it by my bed or desk and simply turn it on in the morning while continuing with my usual activities. The difference it makes might be subtle, but it's enough to help balance my emotions.

Light therapy lamps have evolved, becoming smaller and more effective over the years. Last year, I bought one on Amazon and have been loving it ever since - the Verilux Happy Lamp. So, I'd like to recommend it to you.

Please note that I'm an Amazon Affiliate, which means I receive a commission if you make a purchase through my referral link - <a target="_blank" href="">Verilux Happy Light</a>

FYI - more on SAD from Johns Hopkins Medical -


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