If you’re feeling extra down this time of year, you’re not alone. 10-20% of people are affected by some form of Seasonal Affective Disorder, appropriately acronymed “SAD,” every winter. If you’re one of those people, this article is for you!
We talk a lot on this blog about keeping your home healthy, but what about keeping your mind healthy? Mental health and home health can go hand-in-hand sometimes, so here are some tried-and-true things you can do in your home to help you feel happier for the rest of winter and beyond.
Open the curtains/blinds, and sit near windows as much as possible.
A lack of sunlight is a major cause of SAD. Even if it’s a cloudy day, let in as much natural light as you can, and soak it up!
Buy an inexpensive daylight lamp.
A lamp that simulates daylight can give you energy and help boost your mood on especially dreary days. Here’s a great desktop-size one you can order on Amazon.
Take a vitamin D supplement.
Signs of vitamin D deficiency include fatigue, back pain, depression, and more. If you’re not constantly out in the sun, grab a vitamin D supplement from the store and start taking it every day.
Here’s where home health comes in: Make sure your home is insulated and the windows aren’t drafty, and get a space heater for extra-cold rooms. Being cold will make you feel worse!
Decorate your house with fake flowers.
Flowers provide splashes of color and can give your brain a little boost of springtime joy. And unlike real flowers, fake ones last forever - so if the Michigan winter drags on forever, your flowers will too! (Pro tip: put together a little arrangement of bright flowers and give it to a friend who suffers from the winter blues. It will make their day!)
Exercise is proven to improve mood and reduce anxiety and depression. And you don’t have to join a gym to stay active! Simply bundle up and go for a walk around your neighborhood, or bust out a yoga mat and look up some free yoga videos on YouTube. (I highly recommend Yoga With Adriene. Click here for “Yoga For the Winter Blues”)
Spend time with family and friends.
Socializing is good for your mental health in general. Make plans to get coffee with a friend this weekend, or plan an impromptu family vacation.
Invest some time in a hobby you enjoy.
Hobbies are great to help keep your mind occupied and give you something to look forward to on a regular basis. What do you enjoy doing? Painting? Playing a musical instrument? Reading? Building Lego sets? Pick something, and do it!
Ultimately, be kind to yourself, and remember that winter is almost over! We’re already halfway through February, and then the first day of spring is in March, which will be here before you know it. You’ve made it this far!