There is good evidence from research that if you find yourself getting low particularly in the winter months that having access to bright light can be helpful. This can be as simple as spending time outside but sometimes people find it helpful to have some time with special UV light using a “light box” that they use e.g. for around 30 minutes a day. You can purchase a light box online but do check the light intensity and monitor the amount of time you use it.
Light therapy is one of the few forms of self-care that has been researched and found to be helpful. The research found it helpful for those who only got low in the winter, not for those who were low all the time.
What young people have told us:
'I think a bit of sunshine always makes me feel better. Leaving and arriving in the dark each day definitely impacts on my mood but a cup of coffee in front of my light box each day definitely gives me a boost before I go to school.'
There isn’t much academic research in the area of self-care for young people who are living with mental health issues. We are trying to find out more about what works for different people so we can better advise other young people what to try.
If you’ve tried this activity when you were struggling in relation to your mental health, please let us know if it helped you and how by clicking on the ‘Did this activity help you’ button.