With winter fast approaching, the long dark nights and chilly mornings can leave us feeling a little flat. Being stuck indoors while poor weather wreaks havoc outside, suffering bored children and a long list of household chores, the glorious freedom of summer feels a long way off. If you need to bring a little sunny cheer into your home then try these tips for conquering the winter blues:
#1 Light Box
SADs or Seasonal Affective Disorder affects many people in the winter months and one of the ways they treat this is to incorporate a light box into the home. Anyone can do this and it works in 80% of SAD cases. Sitting next to a light box for around 30 minutes in the morning is said to work wonders for lifting those dreary thoughts. Going outside, whatever the weather, in the first two hours after waking is also helpful for soaking up that natural daylight.
#2 Natural Brightness
Try to get as much natural light into your home as possible during daylight hours. Keep all blinds and shades open, cut back any overgrown plants that might be covering your windows and decorate your home in light, neutral colors. A regular cleaning routine and tidy-up will boost your mood too as clutter and dirt can worsen gloomy thoughts.
#3 Take a Vacation
Break up the long winter months by having a trip to look forward to. Travel to warmer climes during winter, like California or Florida. There’s nothing like getting away from it all to lift your mood and have some fun. Alternatively, embrace the beauty of winter and head off to a top ski resort, staying in a warm, cozy log cabin with a romantic open fire. All of sudden, winter won’t seem so blue after all!
#4 Decorate For The Season
If you’re feeling flat, you’d be amazed what a little seasonal retail therapy can do for your mood. Decorate early and treat yourself to a Christmas tree, cover it with twinkling lights and let your home fill with the fresh scent of pine. The pretty lights will add some glitter and glam to your décor and might just be enough to remind you how much fun winter can be.
#5 Dawn Simulator
For those who really struggle with getting out of bed during winter, a device called a dawn simulator can help. The device increases the light in your bedroom gradually over a set time simulating sun rise. Studies have shown it can have similar effects to anti-depressant medication and could ease the painful transition of waking up when it’s still dark outside.
Having a fresh look indoors can liven up dull, dark days. Choose a bright hue offset with a neutral background to add warmth to your décor. Uplifting colors include bright citrus shades, hot pink, reds and oranges. Consider putting up some large mirrors, lamps and metallic items as they will reflect the natural daylight much more effectively around the room.
#7 Colored Lighting
Increasing the amount of light is important, which is why we’ve mentioned more lamps and light boxes for example. Playing with colored lighting is a further method you could use to brighten dull corners and add warmth to your rooms. Colored glass adds a splash of color, gives an area more depth and interest and each hue has a different mood-boosting quality.
Having the winter blues is the perfect time to go shopping for some accessories. This is a fun and simple way to brighten up your home and your mood. Choose brightly colored vases and flowers, super soft oversized cushions in warm tones, luxurious velvet drapes for sumptuous coziness and vibrant throws and rugs to sink into on those cold nights. The ideal reason for a makeover and some self-medication rolled into one!
#9 Bring Nature In
Bringing some gorgeous green foliage into your home is shown to have mood-lifting benefits. Positive energy is released from having a living thing inside your home. Houseplants can reduce depression, anxiety and excessive tiredness by purifying the air around us. They are mentally soothing and aesthetically pleasing, especially when they bloom their bright blossoms.
#10 Changing It Up
A simple rearranging of the furniture layout in your home can freshen the spirit and give you all a new lease of life. A slight shifting of tables and chairs can totally change the focal point of a room and increase the amount of natural light coming in. Try swapping accessories, ornaments and pictures around into different rooms so you get a different vibe without buying anything new. Research the basic principles of feng shui to see if you can improve the positive flow of energy in your home by the placement of your furniture.
Just one smell can drastically change our mood. By choosing an aroma that we love or have fond memories of can significantly improve the way we feel on an instinctual level. A gorgeous, fresh or comforting smell can easily be achieved by investing in some scented candles, essential oils, fresh flowers or plug-in diffusers.
#12 Exercise And Eat Right
Keep in tip-top condition as there’s nothing worse than the winter blues plus flu. Keep well-hydrated in the warm, dry air inside and wrap up warm in the cold, harsh air outdoors. Eat a balanced, nutritious diet and maybe take some vitamin D supplements. Vitamin D is what we soak up from the sun’s rays and this can be lacking during the dark winter months. Exercise is great for its mood-boosting release of endorphins, giving us a natural high and helping our immune systems function more efficiently.