Updated: Feb 19, 2022
*Disclaimer: This information is not a substitute for your medical care or licensed therapy sessions. It simply suggests other forms of practice that you can add to your toolbox for mental and physical wellness.
Looking for ways to combat the winter blues? Whether you have low-energy or are feeling the full effects of SAD (seasonal affective disorder), your mental health can feel the effects of less sunlight and cold temperatures.
Here are 6 design tips to help you feel better during winter:
1. USE BRIGHT COLOURS OR WARM TONES
Colour psychology suggests that each colour will make you feel a certain way.
Red is passionate, orange is optimistic, yellow is energetic, green is grounding, blue is calming, purple is inspiring, and so on. You can add pops of colour through textiles and art.
If you’re not the type to use bold colours, going for warmer neutral tones like browns and beiges will instantly make your space feel more cozy.
2. ADD PLANTS
This is a great way to add a pop of colour and accessory to your space. Plants are naturally grounding, they clean the air around you, and having something to take care of can bring you joyful purpose. Start off with low-maintenance indoor plants like a snake plant, Christmas cactus or succulents. Their requirement for light will also force you to open up those windows!
3. LET THERE BE LIGHT!
With shorter days, we are deprived of sunlight which affects our energy levels and sleep cycles. Open your blinds/curtains during the day to get as much sunlight as possible.
You can also use light therapy lamps that you can turn on at your desk while you work to mimic the positive effects of real sunlight.
4. HANG ART YOU LOVE OR ART WITH MOTIVATIONAL QUOTES
Enjoying what you see will instantly boost your mood and having daily reminders on your wall can help to keep your perspective in check.
5. LIMIT YOUR BED FOR SLEEPING ONLY
Our sleep cycles are already affected by the lack of sunlight, so you want your body to only associate your bed with sleep. After you wake up, make your bed so that it’s not so easy to get back in and to remind you to limit it to bedtime sleeping only. Try not to do work or rest in bed. Rest on a couch instead.
6. KEEP ACTIVITIES SIMPLE
When you have organization systems in place, it makes tidying and doing chores much easier. The last thing you want to do when you’re feeling tired or depressed is to clean up.
It’s important to remember not to fight these experiences as it’s very normal to feel tired and depressed during this time of year. Let winter be a reminder to turn inwards, cozy up, and become more mindful of the decisions you make every day that can either help you or hurt you.
If you still feel like you are struggling with your mental health, don’t be afraid to ask for professional help! I hope these tips help and that these simple adjustments can bring positive change to your life.