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Shining a Light on Mental Health

Shining a Light on Mental Health

The world has entered its second year of the Covid-19 pandemic. It has been an unprecedented time of uncertainty and anxiety. Concern for our physical health and the health of others continues to be paramount, but it has also brought to light the challenges to our mental health as well.
Light Therapy Reading Lamp
Quarantine, restricted activity, and the stress of working or teaching from home can take their toll on our state of mind. Self-isolation is not natural to the human condition, and masks — while keeping us safe — conceal our smiles and facial expressions, disconnecting us from one another even further.

These are hard things to endure, and we’ve been enduring them for many months. Now, we’re knee-deep in mid-winter, which adds a new element to our struggle: Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD.)

“Fewer daylight hours wreaks havoc on the body,” says Anthony DeMaria, PhD, supervising psychologist at Mt. Sinai-West Hospital’s Center for Intensive Treatment for Personality Disorders. “A variety of neurochemicals are affected.”

Self-care, mindfulness and respite are becoming a much greater priority in the battle against isolation, negative messaging, and anxiety. Fortunately, there are steps we can take to support and improve the quality our mental health.
Light Therapy for SAD Depression relief floor lamp
Light therapy is an excellent tool for battling the winter blues. A light therapy lamp, such as the Flamingo, supplements sun exposure with artificial light that mimics daylight. Continuing research shows that daily light therapy can reduce or alleviate such symptoms as: feelings of sadness, loss of energy, difficulty concentrating, changes in appetite, and interrupted sleep.
Flamingo Light Therapy Floor Lamp
The Flamingo is a standing lamp that can be easily integrated into your home or office decor. It delivers 10,000 lux, the recommended therapeutic light exposure, with no UV rays. Guidelines for usage suggest sitting 20-30 minutes in front of the lamp in the morning, within the first hour or so of waking. Ideally, a light therapy lamp should be placed to shine within 12” of you, in direct view of your face.

For more information or to order online, click here:

Reading, crafting, meditation, knitting, or listening to music are all simple, accessible things we can enjoy by the warm glow of a light therapy lamp, that can ease our mind and improve our mood.
Light Therapy and Journaling
Journaling is yet another outlet to explore, and one that has been trending noticeably for the past year. A journal can house our secrets and emotions or our deepest thoughts. Write out your dreams or jot down the funny things your kids say. Make a bucket list, compose poetry, keep track of books you’ve read or movies you’ve seen. A journal is a great listener, and pouring out one’s heart and soul is one of the most effective forms of therapy there is.
Native American Maxine Noel Journals
These lovely journals feature the beautiful designs of award-winning Native Canadian Sioux artist, Maxine Noel. Her work is characterized by graceful Indigenous figures communing with nature, under such mystical names as “Leaf Dancer” and “Spirit of the Woodlands.” Find your inspiration in these lovely hardcover notebooks, whose blank pages await your written word.
Stack of journal with artwork
Visit our journal collection and order here:

To get you started and for more information on journal therapy and its benefits, we recommend a visit to The Sacred Pen:

In these difficult times, finding ways to brighten our lives and combat stress and depression is more important than ever. Self-care is no longer an indulgence, but a necessity, so please be sure to make time for yourself. There is always a light at the end of the tunnel.
Journal Beautiful cover
Important: Many symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder are similar to those of clinical depression. If your symptoms persist, worsen or are accompanied by suicidal thoughts, consult your doctor right away.
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