I used to suffer from a very debilitating case of seasonal depression. I will spare you the list of medications (both herbal and natural) I have tried and say that what I think has helped the most is light therapy.
I am about to say something controversial. I love tanning beds…but only for 10 minutes, approximately once a week in the winter. It helps TREMENDOUSLY to trick my brain into thinking it’s summertime and makes me feel happy.
I have tried several daylight simulators but until last year, had not found any that helped. I bought a Happy Light and a Verilux Wake up Light. The use of both together have been remarkably effective. I use the Happy Light when I’m sitting at the computer, or when I know I can sit under it for at least 20 minutes. I have read that the photoreceptors in our eyes are positioned in such a way that they receive light best when it comes from above and not straight on, so it does help to position it a little above you.
The Wake up Light mimics the gradual brightness increase of the sun so your room slowly gets brighter. It helps your body’s natural circadian rhythms stay in sync so you wake up more alert instead of groggy. If you’re like me, waking up to darkness just makes the body want to go into hibernation mode and sleep. It was one of the worst parts of winter when I had to get up before the sun and it caused me to be very grumpy, unmotivated and just apathetic. I think this light really did a great job of combating that.
I had a doctor tell me once that tanning in moderation is good for those suffering from SAD. If you are afraid of them though, go with one of the Verilux models which have no chance of causing sunburn. ☀️