By Grace Knoop
For the past 10 years, I spent my winters by the pool and at the beach in my hometown of Sarasota, Florida. My first day of winter in Boston hit me like a truck. Then I got a HappyLight, and I have been in love ever since.
My HappyLight shipped to my dorm only two days after I arrived for the Spring term. I had been calling my mom often, and according to her I was sounding “depleted” and “lethargic” — two adjectives everyone dreams of being described as.
During my first week of a Boston winter, I was looking up transfer applications to the University of Miami. That’s how cold I was. But then my HappyLight rescued me, and I slowly adjusted to life outside of Florida palm trees.
I slept in until 10 a.m. every day for the first few days back at school. While this is the norm for most college students, my body’s alarm clock has always been set to 8 a.m. — come rain or shine — since I was a kid. I took this as a good sign. My mom, however, took it as a plea for help.
Verilux sells different types of HappyLights to help cure Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD. Apparently, I am not alone. About five percent of adults experience SAD. It can last as long as 40 percent of the year, according to the American Psychiatric Association.
I felt a huge difference after using my HappyLight for just one week. I even woke up before my alarm today at 8:30.
I try to use my HappyLight as much as possible. I turn it on while reading or even when I’m doing my makeup in the morning. My one recommendation is not to use it during Zoom classes. I repeat: do not use your HappyLight during a Zoom class.
To convince you that this is a horrible idea, I’ll paint a picture for you.
I am sitting at my desk in my room. It’s dark outside and I am doing my homework for the night. I reach for my HappyLight, turn it on and place it five inches away from my face. My roommate walks past my room and catches me staring into a bright, white light.
Because she is my roommate and knows I am trying to get my Florida personality back, she doesn’t blink an eye. But just picture yourself on Zoom with a blinding light shining directly in your face. You might scare away your professor.
My HappyLight made my outlook on winter a bit brighter. I stopped looking at transfer applications to sunny Miami, and I even started to look forward to snow days.
So take my advice: get a HappyLight and turn it on while you’re studying or when you’re reading my blogs. Mine is on right now as I finish this love letter to my precious HappyLight.