Got the February blahs? Here are some ways to fight back by brightening and lightening your home — and hopefully your winter mood too!
Whether you find yourself grumpy and lethargic during the long, cold winter or whether you legitimately suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which is a type of depression related to the season, there’s no doubt you’ll feel better with more light in your life. Consider these suggestions:
1. Fling open the drapes and let the sun shine in! To clean your way to the most light possible, grab a spray bottle and fill it equally with vinegar and water, then spray and wipe your windows. If you have screens on your windows and won’t be opening them for a couple more months, remove the screens to allow more sunshine to sparkle through. Take advantage of this free “solar power” to warm up your rooms.
2. No sunshine? No problem — brighten up with new lightbulbs! Replace the yellowish glow of incandescent bulbs with bright, white LED lights and add instant energy to any room. Looking for a fun and whimsical way to enjoy more light without requiring sunglasses indoors? Scour the afterholiday discount bins at your local home improvement store for strings of LED glimmer lights to drape around windows, walls or furniture. If you suffer from SAD, you may also want to invest in a light therapy box. Designed to mimic outdoor light, it theoretically triggers a chemical change in your brain that lifts your mood and eases other symptoms of SAD.
3. Still in the dark about illuminating your home? While taking a weekend to repaint one of your rooms with white walls can certainly perk up a dark space, an easier and quicker way to brighten up a room can be achieved by simply throwing light-colored slipcovers over dark furniture, and accessorizing with cheerful pillows and a bright rug. Add some tropical plants and you’re well on your way to a bright, yet cozy winter escape.
4. Reflect on some changes. Adding mirrors to a room is a quick trick to creating more light, as when strategically placed, mirrors can reflect even the smallest amount of light to give the illusion of a bigger, brighter room. In addition to taking care of your home throughout the dark winter months, remember to take care of your own health too by taking Vitamin D supplements throughout the winter. Vitamin D is made in the skin when it’s exposed to sunlight, so it’s no surprise that a high percentage of us find ourselves deficient in this important vitamin during the dark winter months.
At the very least, consider yourself lucky that you don’t live in the Nordic countries or other such places where residents don’t see the sun at all for months on end!