The days are quickly growing shorter, meaning the sun is setting sooner, leaving us in darkness earlier and earlier each day. As much as I love this time of year, there is always one thing I personally need to be aware of, and I am sure I am not the only one. Seasonal Affective Disorder, SAD for short. Perfect name, right?
Many of us find ourselves affected by the onset of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). In case you have not heard of it, it is a type of depression that’s related to changes in seasons, and typically occurs in the fall and winter months when there is less natural sunlight. It can make you feel fatigued, have low moods and you may have a general lack of energy during these darker months.
What if I were to tell you that we can help ourselves cope with SAD easier with how we decorate our home. We may not have any control over the outdoors, but we do have all of the control over the interior of our homes. As an interior decorator deeply concerned about mental health, and who personally struggles with mental health, I have learned that transforming your living space can be a powerful tool in fighting the effects of SAD. And I want to help.
Here are five tips I have personally used in my own battle with Seasonal Affective Disorder:
Choosing the right colours, textures and other design choices can help you fight the winter blues and find peace in the midst of the colder, darker months.
Having the right lighting, and a lot of it, is crucial when it comes to battling SAD. Natural light has a huge impact on our mood and overall well-being. Here are a few ways you can maximize natural light within your home:
Since sunlight is limited during the winter, it is important to ensure that the artificial lighting in your home can help fill the void. One way to do this is to install full-spectrum lighting throughout your home, which resembles natural light. Choose bulbs with a color temperature 5000k and up to imitate daylight. Also, make good use of your task lighting, like floor and table lamps. Placing them strategically throughout your home not only brightens up a room but also serve as decorative elements that contribute to an uplifting atmosphere.
Colour is a very powerful tool, and is known to influence our emotions. As an interior decorator, I could tell you what colours you should and should not use, but when it comes to creating a space where you feel safe in the darkest of days, I want you to use the colours that make you happy, the colours that bring you joy.
Yes there is research on the concept of colour therapy, and I could write about that in a whole other post. But I will break it down quickly for you: warm colours like reds, yellows and browns bring a sense of coziness, while cool colours like blues and greens bring a sense of calm.
So what is the best way to easily add colour in your home? Using soft and warm hues on your walls will make it easier to play with accent colours. Not only that, but it will also reflect light, helping make the space brighter.
Bring in your favourite colours through textiles like accent pillows and throws, the cozier the better. But, it is still important to have a sense of cohesiveness with the colours you choose so it does not look too busy. This could affect the feeling of calm in your home.
Bringing nature indoors can significantly impact our mental health. Introducing houseplants not only makes our homes more aesthetically appealing, but it also contributes to a sense of tranquility. But there is a catch. Dead plants definitely will not create a sense of happiness, and when struggling with SAD it is sometimes harder to complete daily tasks. So so start off with a few plants that are easy to care for and go from there!
Here are a few low maintenance plant options you can try:
So try to bring a bit of the outdoors inside to help brighten up your home during the winter months. They are also great air purifiers, which is helpful when we are spending so much more time indoors.
When you are feeling down, sometimes you just want to curl up and feel cozy. Creating cozy nooks within your home can serve as sanctuaries during the darker days. Adding plush rugs, throw blankets, and soft cushions to transform a corner into a snug retreat. You can also add in elements like scented candles or essential oil diffusers to create a calming and inviting environment.
I personally always make sure I have a chunky fuzzy blanket near me, like this one from Indigo and I love to light my locally made scented candles.
De-cluttering and organizing your space can do wonders for your mental well-being. Plus, the last thing you want to do when you are feeling down is clean. Having a tidy and organized home helps create a sense of calm and control. There are many storage solutions you can use to help minimize clutter to ensure a more peaceful and serene environment.
Photo by Heather Ford on Unsplash
Choosing the right colours, textures and other design choices can help you fight the winter blues and find peace in the midst of the colder, darker months. The connection between our surroundings and our mental health should not be underestimated. By strategically decorating your home to maximize light, incorporate uplifting colors, bring in nature, create cozy spaces, and maintain order, you can significantly alleviate the impact of SAD.
It does not have to take much, and I want you to go easy on yourself. If you struggle with SAD, know you are not alone and I am here to help.
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