I know a thing or two about how your environment can affect your mental health. Living in Seattle for over 6+ years, winters can be rough. Not because of the cold, but because of the grey. For eight months out of the year Seattleites and the Pacific Northwest in general experiences a continual overcast that leads to Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.).
Seasonal Affective Disorder is a type of depression that occurs typically during the fall and winter months. You experience less energy, lower motivation, and yes, even depression.
If you live in a place that gets a lot of grey, no wonder this affects your health and mood. Less sun means less Vitamin D and less energy. Even if you're not living in a place of perpetual grey, winter is a time of the year where the days are shorter, the weather is colder, and you stay indoors more often (cabin fever is real).
But with spending more and more time indoors, it doesn't have to be all doom and gloom! Your home can actually improve and boost your mental health and mood. Considering you're spending most of your time indoors this winter season, why not have your home help you out to feel more cheerful and jolly for the holiday months ahead.
Here are some holistic tips and ideas for designing your home to help combat the S.A.D. feelings for winter.
Add the Color Yellow
Interior Designers know a little bit about color psychology and how certain colors can alter and affect your mood and mental state. If you want to boost your mood and feel more cheerful in your home, the color yellow is known to brighten up your day. It is often connected to happiness and optimism. An intense and eye catching color as well, yellow is visually and physically stimulating. This can increase your overall energy. Try adding the color yellow in small ways not to over energize a space. Good ways to do this are through accent pieces, like pillows, decor, or a statement chair.
Incorporate Mood Boosting Scents
I remember knowing a girl in Middle School that couldn't smell. I remember being baffled at this, especially now since I know how powerful your sense of smell is. It is one of your strongest senses and is linked to memories and mood. Adding scents to your home is a subtle yet strong way to enhance and improve your health and mood in your home. Try it through a cozy non paraffin candle, or an essential oil diffuser to keep your home smelling amazing for hours. Great scents for increasing your mood and energy are lemon, lemongrass, orange, eucalyptus, peppermint and vanilla.
Add a Happy Light
Since Vitamin D is severely lacking during the winter months, you need to get that nutrient in somehow. While vitamin D supplements and foods like mushrooms, certain fish, and eggs are a good way to incorporate this holistically, you can also try a Happy Light. Happy Lights are a form of light therapy to mimic the sun and receive vitamin D. There's often used in treating S.A.D. You can find a variety of portable and home happy lights, even some more stylish options for your space.
Keep it Tidy
I feel like a broken record, but a messy space = a messy mind. There have been so many studies showing how your home's clutter and messes negatively impact your mental and physical health. One of these side effects is depression and lower energy levels. Keeping your home tidy can help to combat these feelings and making the wintertime a little more manageable. Need some help on getting started? Check out my other blog on easy ways to start decluttering for some tips.
Fill your Home with Items that Spark Joy
Marie Condo may have coined the infamous term 'having items that spark joy', and I fully stand by this. Adding decor pieces and intentional items that make you happy and put a smile on your face whenever you see them is a great way to make your home more cheerful (and you more cheerful) on a daily basis. Whether this be a cute coffee mug that makes you chuckle, a piece of art, or a souvenir or sentimental item, adding these to your home can positively boost your overall mood and emotions while in your home.
Get some House Plants
It's no secret that you don't get to see a lot of green in the wintertime. Whether it's because everything in nature is dead and dormant, or because you're spending more time indoors, a lack of nature isn't great for your mood and health. So bring nature indoors with some house plants. Having house plants has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety, while also showing fewer symptoms of depression. They also have a bunch of other benefits as well, making them a good holistic choice to add to your home.
Try these easy holistic living tips out in your home and see how your home can help you in boosting your mood with Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Your Holistic Home Helper,