Home Decor for Seasonal Affective Disorder
The winter months are upon us! Although we are blessed with relatively nice weather here in beautiful North Carolina, you may be experiencing a subtle or moderate down-turn in mood. Medical professionals believe that reduced sunlight that comes with winter is the root of Seasonal Affective Disorder* or SAD.
Every year, especially after daylight saving time, the sun sets earlier, which shortens our days. You know the drill – no more evening walks after work. No more twilight basketball with the kids in the driveway. By dinner, it’s practically night-time. Do the long hours of darkness affect you?
Physical Stress from Less Daylight
What happens to your body when you have less daylight? The Mayo Clinic says less light may cause a disruption of melatonin, the hormone responsible for regulating sleep cycles. You can also experience a decrease of serotonin, a chemical made by the body that regulates mood.
Because of less light, therefore, you may have mild depression, and disrupted sleep. These are all symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder
Practical Help for Seasonal Affective Disorder
Don’t give into those winter blues yet! The Mayo Clinic says that to boost your mood, you should get outside for regular sun exposure, exercise regularly, and make your indoor environment sunnier and brighter. How can you do this? Here are some specific tips:
- Spruce up the outside of your home – remove over grown shrubs and cut back tree limbs to let more natural sunlight inside.
- Use bright, light-reflecting colors on walls opposite windows. Keep bold and trendy, but darker, light-absorbing colors as an accent wall. This design strategy keeps the room airy, light and happy.
- Invest in skylights or sun tunnels to increase the natural light in your home.
- Open curtains and light blocking blinds during daylight hours.
- Arrange the area you spend the most time in so that you are exposed to direct sunlight. Move your desk closer to windows, facing the source of daylight as much as feasible.
We are happy to offer you several options to let in the maximum amount of sunlight. Solar Shades do well at maintaining privacy, while never blocking light or your gorgeous view. Motorized window treatments can be set on a timer to rise as soon as the sun is up, allowing those wonderful rays into your home; and to close again for privacy at dark. Remember – getting the most out of the few sunny hours is key.
We hope these tips can help you get through the winter in good spirits, and shine a light on those winter blues.
Questions about light-enhancing options for your home? Reach out to us; we’d love to help.
*This article discusses mild Seasonal Affective Disorder, not moderate to severe clinical depression. If you have been suffering from symptoms for many consecutive days, have little joy, and/or feel hopeless, please seek medical treatment from a professional.