People who experience a seasonally determined depressive episode often suffer over the winter, when cold, gray stillness dominates much of the country. Over the past few decades there has been a large amount of research into using a lightbox to relieve the symptoms, and a recent ABC News story has a very comprehensive review of this work.

“There are relatively inexpensive light boxes that can be bought that provide the intensity necessary,” Blazer said, “and you don’t have to be looking directly into it. You just put it beside you. For example, when you get up in the morning and sit at the kitchen table to read the paper, have this box next to you — your eyes pick up the light there. That, we think, may be a corrective to this seasonal problem.”

For more information I recommend a free eBook from Dan Kripke called Brighten Your Life.