The slush and ice are finally going away, but it might be a longer wait for the sunshine to be back. Whether you are affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), or experience the winter blues from time to time, you may benefit from light therapy – a resource available for free at the Woodward Library and the BMB Library.
Seasonal Affective Disorder is a mood disorder that describes people who only experience depression around fall and winter. Light therapy is one of the most common treatments for SAD, and it works by exposing individuals to lamps designed to mimic light levels during spring and summer. Research suggests that sitting near a light therapy lamp for 30 minutes a day results in significant mood improvement in 60-70% of SAD patients (Seasonal Affective Disorder FAQ).
Light therapy lamps are available on a first-come, first-served basis at the Woodward Library in the carrel on Level 2, and in Room 324 on Level 3. UBC Library’s Biomedical Branch (Oak & 12th Avenue) also offers light therapy lamps, in the first carrel to the left past the entrance. All you need is to sign your name and duration of use on the sign-in sheet by the lamp.
The recommended duration of usage is 20-30 minutes a day. Feel free to bring your school project or a good book with you, or just show up and relax!
For more instructions, please visit the UBC Library’s “Light Therapy Lamps” page.
To learn more about light therapy and SAD, the UBC Mood Disorders Centre and Department of Psychiatry have a FAQ page with several helpful answers to common questions.