The science of mental health is an ongoing field of study that too often ends up with a prescription for a drug to treat whatever mental health problem you have, as opposed to addressing the root causes of mental health issues. For example, it’s a known fact that depression rates rise during fall and winter — a root cause that can be directly addressed with more sunlight, as opposed to a bottle of pills.
The impact that the sun has on your overall health cannot be overstated. Sunlight has a profound impact on your mental health. Out of 19 environmental factors, the only one correlating to higher levels of distress was the amount of time between sunrise and sunset.
But unless you live in a warm climate that allows you to get out in the sun every day, it simply isn’t possible to get the full benefits of sunlight. This why I recommend photobiology as a therapeutic use of light to improve health.
Other tips for beating the winter blues include exercising, getting enough good-quality sleep, avoiding processed foods, optimizing your gut health and immune system (which can help you socially as well), and increasing the amount of high quality, animal-based omega-3 fats into your diet. Foods especially have an immense impact on your mood and ability to cope, and eating a diet of fresh, whole foods will best support your mental health.