During the winter months, many people may begin to notice feelings of increased fatigue, feeling down or blue and feeling just kind of blah. As we know in the mental health field, exposure to light is necessary to help cope with and combat feelings of depression and other mood disorders. Recently I began thinking about the affect that holiday lights may have on our mental health. If science has shown us the light therapy is effective for treating seasonal affective disorder, can holiday lights also help fight sadness during the winter? Although I have not implemented any scientific studies, I would like to believe that holiday lights do indeed increase positive thoughts and decrease feelings of sadness. A client of mine recently spoke about their difficulties with the holidays because their mother had passed away a few years ago right before Christmas. This client told me about their experiences of walking down a downtown street in December, seeing all of the “pretty lights” and hearing Christmas music and how it really helped them feel better and give them that warm, fuzzy feeling. Although the holidays remind this client of their mother passing, it also reminds them of all of the happy memories as well. Perhaps we can all take some time to just look at our christmas trees, or watch the candle light illuminate from a menorah (or insert any version of pretty lights that you enjoy). And guess what!? Just sitting and looking at the lights is practicing mindfulness! Being in the moment and being aware of your surroundings is what mindfulness is all about! Holiday namaste everyone!!