a peek inside the fishbowl

28 Oct, 2014

Litebook revisited

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Oh! Things!

I was singing the shower this morning. SINGING. I stopped myself, mid chorus, with a shampoo bottle in my hand. Who is this person? And when’s the last time she spontaneously belted out some Dexy’s Midnight Runners?

And then it dawned on me. Singing in the shower, to me, is a symptom of happiness, the kind that comes with having a bit of energy to spare, even on a day as grey as today.

I’ve written about my Litebook before, but now that it’s fall and I’m back at it I thought it deserved another mention, especially since I listed it in my “editor’s faves” column in the November issue of Capital Parent Newspaper (which you can read right here).

During my research for the column I discovered that my old Litebook is now obsolete. (Mark actually bought one for my birthday this year, which is GOOD because I needed one but kinda sucks because the new Litebook Edge looks kinda great. Oh well. It isn’t the only name out there by the way. There are lots of light therapy options on Amazon although I can’t speak for those other brands.)

Have you ever thought about how great you feel on a nice bright sunny day? On sunny days I have extra spring in my step, and a smile on my face. And I’m more likely to be better at dealing with life’s challenges.

The Litebook is essentially a wee spotlight that folds open and sits on a desk. (The girls jokingly refer to it as a bat signal. If we added a black cut out bat shape they wouldn’t be too far off.) It’s essentially a ray of sunlight without the UV. For me, the Litebook has become a bit of a life fixer upper. It gives me energy and wakes me up, and helps me be happier person. (You can read much more about the benefits of light therapy here.)

Every morning I sit down with a cup of coffee and read the news for 30 minutes while the light shines in my face. And then I hit the treadmill. I do this every day and will continue to do so through until the Spring. Why? Because sometimes I need to put myself first, because when I start to fall apart, my world seems to fall apart around me.

But what does it mean exactly when I say that time spent in front of my Litebook gives me extra energy? It means I bake a loaf of banana bread instead of chucking the spotty bananas straight into the compost. It means I walk down the drugstore to pick up a few things instead of driving. It means I’m a better parent. It means I pack a lunch instead of getting take out. It means I tidy up the mudroom instead of stepping over shoes and backpacks. It means I am less grumpy, spend more time on the treadmill, am prone to sudden fits of dance, and generally Feel Better About Almost Everything.

I catch myself doing things I haven’t done in awhile, and I think, yes, that’s the old Andrea. And to tell you the truth, I like the old, silly, happy Andrea. I like her a lot.

This doesn’t mean that all of my health problems are solved. I have made an appointment to see my doctor about a few things, but this extra bit of light in my day goes a long way to improving my daily life and my outlook.


6 Responses to "Litebook revisited"

1 | Misty Pratt

October 28th, 2014 at 1:12 pm


I’ve considered investing in one to see if it helps my winter blues!

2 | kjt

October 28th, 2014 at 5:32 pm


This is the one I use – neither compact nor pretty but works for me. It’s almost 10 years old so this company may have advanced the product since then.


3 | About happiness and self-improvement >> a peek inside the fishbowl

January 9th, 2015 at 10:00 am


[…] there’s the Litebook. It’s a biggie. BIG. A few days ago I raised it up a bit so it shone on my face slightly […]

4 | a peek inside the fishbowl » Blog Archive Inside outside - a peek inside the fishbowl

November 3rd, 2016 at 2:57 pm


[…] will say this, I know myself and I know what helps me cope: my Litebook (interesting how I posted about using it almost exactly this time of year two years ago), my vitamins, a good breakfast, my treadmill time, […]

6 | a peek inside the fishbowl » Blog Archive Not feeling very Zen right now? Try silent breakfasts - a peek inside the fishbowl

November 19th, 2020 at 8:31 pm


[…] used to use my desktop SAD lamp every morning this time of year, but I don’t seem to need it anymore. Maybe this […]

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human offspring: Emma (24) and Sarah (22). During the day I work as a writer at the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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