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Tips for a Brighter Winter

Settled in New England, we are no strangers to the winter months! As autumn begins and fades, so do the hours of light that we experience. While there are countless things to look forward to in the winter, there are also symptoms of fatigue and dreariness that many Massachusetts natives, and transplants, experience.

We can enjoy the crisp air, apple cider, snow days, added exercise, layered clothing, and holidays, but when the excitement settles, some New England residents are left feeling less than joyous about the season change.

This leaves us to wonder… how do we combat the wintertime blues? With the end of daylight saving, we thought we’d look into some ways to brighten our days.

Along with the recommend daily exercise, time outdoors (even in the snow and cold!), and maintaining your typical routine, there are also things you can do in your home to bring more light and energy in the darker months.

Of course, if you’re experiencing more than just a bit of wintertime dreariness, you may also want to seek a doctor’s professional opinion. But, if you’re just looking to brighten up your home, or try some natural remedies first, look no further! We’ve broken down our tips into three main categories. You will find one main theme: visual and sensory cues.

 

Windows:

  • Clean your windows.
    • This task may even have the added bonus of an upper-body work-out depending on how many windows you have. Once you’ve finished, you’ll feel like you’ve achieved something and your home will be full of bright, uplifting light.
  • Remove the mesh screens. This added layer obstructs the view to the outside.
  • Maximize the daylight in your home, especially in the morning, by opening the blinds.
  • Make the windows of a room the focal point during the winter months.
  • While we’re on the topic of blinds, change out your heavy drapes with light colored window treatments.
    • By mounting treatments outside of the window frame, you can also create a visual cue that the windows are larger. As a bonus, when open, this will allow for the maximum amount of sunlight to come through.
  • Trim any shrubbery near the windows that would obstruct your view of the daylight. This is another chore that will add some exercise and an outdoor experience.
  • Open the windows.
    • It may seem counter-intuitive in the colder months, but even twenty minutes of fresh air and sunlight in your home can do wonders for your moods. Not to mention the fresh feeling and renewed scent your space will have once they’re closed.

 

Interior Design:

  • Remove dark rugs and textiles.
  • Add bright, light, and textured designs to your floor coverings, slips, and pillows.
  • Add reflective surfaces to your home.
    • Even a simple statement mirror can add a tremendous amount of light when placed mindfully.
  • Add full-spectrum or daylight toned bulbs to your home.
  • Light boxes, dawn simulators, and circadian rhythm simulators are all added light elements, as well – but you may want to discuss with a doctor if this is a good choice, first.
  • Add new pieces to your home.
    • Even small changes like one added piece of art, or a few bright photos, can add excitement to a space. This is especially helpful to make your home feel new, and get you excited to spend some quality time there.
  • Plants! Adding natural elements to your home helps to bring the outside in, adding natural air filtration, another indoor task, and a nurturing sensibility during months where self-care is especially important.
  • Aromatherapy is another added piece of interior design that we often overlook.
    • Having a signature scent for your home is something lots of designers recommend, but adding natural essential oils like lavender for calming, or orange for invigorating the senses, to your home can help various ailments. 

Schedule:

  • Maintain your typical routine.
    • See the people you normally would. Participate in a winter activity that you enjoy, or find a new one to try, adding enthusiasm to the time of year.
  • Make your bed daily.
    • This indicates your day is starting and you’re ready for what is ahead. The simple shift, if not already implemented, helps to prepare you for a good day.
  • Exercise.
    • Walking outside helps to get you light, air, and endorphins. If you are able, hiking also brings you into a new atmosphere that is said to help brighten your moods, as well.