The last four years I’ve noticed a marked difference in my happiness levels starting as early as September 1.  While I may have had it in years prior, I only clued in to the “winter blues” in the last few years. The pattern is the same every year, peaking in the last week of November. The question I’ve been trying to answer every fall is “how do I stay productive while feeling the blues?”

I once heard that during a Canadian winter, one must sunbathe naked at high noon for an hour to naturally get enough Vitamin D. Since I don’t do that (!), the last few years I’ve faithfully taken 1000 IUs of Vitamin D (coupled with Vitamin C) every day. Last year my friend lent me a DayLight which I wasn’t very consistent in using. This past week I started using it again for 15 minutes every morning right when I wake up.

Can I tell you how amazing that was even the first day I used it? The first day! It was like the sun had risen in my heart! I’m confident that this will help throughout this upcoming cold, light-less Montreal winter.

So this winter:

  • vitamin D
  • at least 15 minutes of light therapy a day
  • regular exercise

What about you? Do you get the winter blues? How do you manage? What helps you stay on your game?


People have been asking me what I recommend. Like I mentioned in the comments, the Philips brand lights are good as well as the DayLight that I use. To be honest, the Philips lights are way more normal sized compared to what I have and probably more reasonable in price, as well as more easily accessible. You can get them at Amazon and Costco.

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  • http://myonlyconstantischange.blogspot.ca/ Ally

    Hehehe, I was just going to write a post about the same thing! I recently pulled out my sun lamp and have felt a big difference fast. = ) Sad to think that tons of people haven’t made the connection that their winter blues could be cured with a simple lamp, Vit D and exercise!

  • http://www.twitter.com/_tanyalua Tanya

    Someone recommended that lamp to me, but I was always skeptical about it. Thanks for posting your experience with it, I might look into getting one this winter because I go through the ‘winter blues’ too.

  • Sharon

    Hmm.. Maybe I should get this for my brother…

  • http://www.lifeofasteward.com Loren Pinilis

    I took a missions trip to Mongolia. A lot of the people there walk around with limps due to rickets – which is caused by a Vitamin D deficiency. A lack of light can have such a drastic difference on their life and physiology – it kinda made me get a little concerned about what could be happening to mine back here in the States.

  • http://montrealnest.blogspot.ca emorrice

    this is so cool! good idea to pick one up Jess. Can I try it when I’m over next? so very intrigued! it seems to have the benefits of a tanning bed without the cancer…

    • http://jessversteeg.ca Jess Versteeg

      Sure thing! You’re right about the tanning bed thing. My mom’s doctor recommended either a light or the tanning bed. She did the tanning bed one winter and totally found that it worked. But, yes, that cancer thing is a problem. Also so is looking like you’re from Jersey Shore.

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