Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Here Comes the (Artificial) Sun

Meet my new best friend.

As many of you know, winter in the far north is NOT my best friend. In fact, it's so not my best friend that last spring my nurse practitioner advised me to get myself a light box the next time winter came around. In truth, she wanted me to buy a light box by late August or early September, which is when the angle of the sunlight starts to change up here, but that didn't happen. No matter. I have it now, and let me tell you, it was worth having to use my credit card (what else is new) to buy it.

I think the light box really works. I mean, either that or the fact that so far this year our late autumn and early winter has been relatively kind is keeping my vitamin-D-sensitive brain chemicals happy. (For instance: you know that big snowfall we got the other weekend? It just melted. All of it. And although it was about five degrees outside last Thursday evening for our town's annual Winter Walk, and our fingers and toes became numb, yesterday it was 40 degrees.)

But no, I really believe it's the light box. Because despite the warm and easy weather, it's still dark by 5 p.m., and stays that way until nearly eight in the morning, and that's just a whole lot of dark for vulnerable brains such as mine. And yet, I feel pretty good so far. However, I should note that, while the instructions state that benefits should result from a mere 15 minutes of light exposure per day, I sit by my light box for a good hour every morning--from the time I come downstairs to drink my coffee and get some work done on the computer at about 5:15 all the way through the girls' breakfast at about 6:15. Sometimes I linger until 6:30 or so, and sometimes I turn it back on later in the morning if I'm working in the kitchen, because why not? So perhaps I am mega-dosing on medical-grade UV light.

But I luuuuurve it. So don't try to get between me and my Philips GoLite. It's what's going to get me through winter in Minnesota from here on out. Mother's little helper.

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