Lumie Arabica Light Box Review

lumie arabica SAD lamp

Just after Christmas I went a bit doolally.  The dark days took their miserable toll and I found myself balled up on the sofa howling because it was too dark, and I couldn’t do anything, and the kids were winding me up and Ross wasn’t around because he was still commuting to London every day, and there was nothing to do, and I wanted to go to the park and the kids wouldn’t put their sodding shoes on, and the pile of laundry was akin to Everest, and the thought of cooking dinner made me want to cry, and everything was just frankly, utterly hideous. 

Then I figured that if I switched on every single light in my house, I might feel better.  

Well, I didn’t feel any better, and my mum was beginning to worry (as you do, about the mentals).  So, she bought me the Lumie Arabica SAD lamp.  

lumie arabica SAD lamp

At 10,000 lux the Lumie Arabica is the brightest light I have ever owned.  It sits on the side in my dining room, and I have it on when I am working, or eating (It also masquerades as a photography light, so if you’ve noticed my food photos are looking brighter and sharper, well you have my SAD to thank for that)

It’s not the most inconspicuous of lamps; it doesn’t, for instance, blend in with the rest of my stuff.  There is no denying it’s a light box, and people have asked me what it is, and when I tell them it’s a SAD lamp, without fail the next question is, “does it work?”

And, well, yes it does.  Whilst typically, it arrived just as we got a few brighter days, they soon reverted back to the dull, heavy grey skies we’ve become accustomed to, the lamp has been used almost every day, and just sitting in front of it for 45 mins a day has certainly helped a lot.  The amount of daylight we get is said to have an effect on our circadian rhythms*, and even though the curtains in my bedroom are flimsy at best, thus waking me up early, when the days are short and dark I really notice a difference in my mood and general wellbeing.   Having the lamp on makes me feel generally happier.  I don’t feel like like sleeping all the time (partial though I am to a nap), I feel more inclined to get out of the house and do things.  Everything that seemed grey and dull and impossible, now feels brighter and lighter and achievable.  I feel capable again, and when you have two small children to care for, feeling capable is very important. 

lumie arabica SAD lamp

(I had to turn the exposure right up on this photo, hence all the noise – but I think it gives you an idea of how bright it really is)

I’m not saying it’s all down to my Lumie Arabica, regular readers will know I’ve started running which eases my stress levels – I never ever come home from the gym feeling low, rather I leave feeling badass.  But then I can’t help wondering if I was feeling as rubbish as I was before I got my Lumie Arabica, would I even be motivated enough to go for a run?  Knowing myself, I think it’s more likely I’d go and curl up somewhere whilst snarfing down a packet of biscuits. 

So if you are considering light therapy for SAD, then I’d wholeheartedly recommend this lamp.  It’s certainly not the cheapest on the market, but Lumie give you the VAT off if you are a SAD sufferer.  When you feel as low as I did, you have to take the perks where you can get them, am I right?

*Surely I can’t be the only person who thinks of Daysleeper by REM when anyone starts talking about circadian rhythms?  




Well hi, there, 2014.

I’ve neglected this blog for ages, only posting the odd recipe or cheeky infographic now and then.  I just got a bit caught up with bits and bobs before Christmas that have kept me away.

I’m working a bit these days.  Doing some freelance social media management for a gelateria near where I live.  I enjoy it.  I’d forgotten how much I like working, and working for myself and being able to set my own hours has been a nice way to ease myself back  into it.  Elliot likes it, too.  He comes with me most of the time, gets played with and is given ice cream to eat.  I am not certain it gets much better for a little chap. 

I’m fairly disgusted with my figure at the moment.  I go to a legs, bums and tums class, and I do a fair bit of walking, but I still look in the mirror and see the “winter coat” I’ve put on since November and it makes me want to cry a little.  Admittedly I have stopped 5:2, and my diet is terrible at the moment.  Too much coffee and biscuits, and not enough movement.  I keep telling myself I’ll do better, but I never do.  What I really need to do is go to the gym and eat better.  What I would love is someone to come with me for motivational purposes. 

I told myself this post wouldn’t turn into a body shaming rant, but it has, because I feel disgusting and ugly, and that kind of leads me on to the other reason I’ve been quiet. 

This year I’ve really suffered with SAD and have not been in a good place mentally. I used to think SAD was a cop-out, but it’s definitely 100% not.  This has been the worst I’ve felt for months – since I stopped taking the happy pills.  I hated pretty much every day of the Christmas holidays.  I slept in til after midday most days, finding no reason to even get out of bed.  I was exhausted all the time, and irritable – I found pretty much no joy in anything.  I looked in the mirror and saw properly dead eyes, my light had gone out.  I couldn’t even muster up the energy to cry, until I could, and then I couldn’t stop.  

And I did what I always do when I am depressed; I shut people out and I yelled at my children and my husband and I curled up into a ball on my sofa and raged at everything whilst leaving everything because when you feel low, even putting on a load of washing or unloading the dishwasher feels like a gargantuan task that you don’t even know how to begin to do.  I ended up calling my mother and sobbing hysterically at her that I couldn’t cope and she came over and helped out and bought me a SAD lamp, and then the sun came out again (literally, that ain’t no metaphor) and things began to feel better.  I have the lamp on when I am working.  It’s so bright you can’t really look directly at it without risking retinal damage, but it definitely helps.  I really need light. 

I’m not totally better, but I’m getting there.  And I never again will scoff at people feeling low in the winter, because having SAD is absolutely fucking hideous.

So it’s been a bit of a mixed bag lately.  

I’ll be back again soon.  I think I just needed to kick myself into gear and actually write.  Bite the bullet, so to speak.  Perhaps I’ll bite another one and go to the gym soon.