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[Photo Story] Trying Light Box Therapy In The IM Wellness Suite

Sun in State College during the winter is like the Willard Preacher in a strip club: it just doesn’t happen. But seriously, the lack of sun here is no laughing matter.

Thankfully, the Wellness Suite at the IM Building has a pretty cool hack: light box therapy. These light boxes can help to ease symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder by improving serotonin activity and melatonin production, which can help to improve your mood and sleep cycles. However, anyone can use them to brighten their day.

So, in an attempt to make up for the lack of rays in Happy Valley, I headed to the Relaxation Room to check it out.

Upon arrival, I was greeted by the very friendly staff who asked what I was looking for. I told them that I was interested in trying their light boxes, so they had me sign my name in a book and then they handed me a box. There are plenty of different rooms that are available to sit and ~relax~ in, so I picked a quiet one to set up camp.

The light box is super compact and easy to use; you simply plug it into the wall and turn it on. Then it’s time to sit back, relax, and enjoy the warm light. Warning: make sure not to look directly into the light, because it will hurt (not speaking from experience).

It is recommended that you use the light box for up to 20 minutes, and it works best if you do it in the morning, not too long after waking up. Light therapy can start to improve symptoms within just a few days.

So far, I’ve only done one 20-minute session of light box therapy, but I really do think my mood improved. Maybe it was just the calming ambiance of the Relaxation Room, but I felt pretty damn good after walking out of there.

So, if the dreary State College winter has got you feeling blue, or if you just miss the sun, definitely check out the IM Wellness Suite’s light box therapy.

The Wellness Suite’s light box therapy is not a cure for Seasonal Affective Disorder, or any related disorders. More information on what to do if you or someone you know needs help can be found here.

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About the Author

Grace Cunningham

Grace is a junior advertising major and one of Onward State’s social media editors. She is also a co-host of our podcast, Podward State. Grace hails from Chatham, New Jersey—no, she doesn’t know Snooki, and yes, she will fight you if you tell her that Pennsylvania bagels are good. Grace loves buffalo chicken, the Yankees, and watching Cake Boss. Follow her on Twitter @gecunningham7 or email her at [email protected] if you can get her an internship.


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