Trying to fight the winter blues? - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Trying to fight the winter blues?


People in South Bend are doing what they can to fight the winter blues.

"I'm trying to keep warm and stay inside as much as possible," says Shannon Dalley.

"I came down and bought me some chocolate," says Arthetta Martin.

"I just turn up the radio on upbeat Christian music and pray for sunshine," says Denise Hammerquist.

"This past week I went golfing in Florida," says Paul Wynne.

If you're not lucky enough to have a trip planned down south, there may be another option.

"Somehow this light gets into your eyes and it does magic things," says Nancy.

Nancy is talking about light therapy. It's a free service offered at Memorial Hospital and she's taking full advantage of it.

"I like to come everyday if it fits into my schedule, it's just a nice way to start my day."

For half an hour, Nancy sits in front of a light box that has three 30 watt fluorescent light bulbs. And RN Christy Erwin says it really can help cure the blues. "The light enters into your eyes and it affects some of the brain chemicals that are responsible for your mood and just kind of that general feeling of well being."

Erwin says light DOES affect your mood and the months of winter darkness can get your body off balance. "I think that's the most common thing people come in for. They just don't have as much energy."

And patients like Nancy are feeling the benefits.

"As winter goes on I just start waking up later and later and later. Well now I notice, I'm waking up at what most people would consider a normal time, naturally," says Nancy.

And that's why she keeps coming back. "In South Bend we don't really have light during the day much so this is a nice way to have that brightness in the day that we miss here."

Free light therapy is available until March. If you're interested in trying it out, call 574-647-1801 to schedule an appointment.

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