We all need a little cheering up at the moment! We’ve all been affected to a greater or lesser extent over the last few months, and now that it’s winter it’s important to take time to boost our mood at home. Here are a few of our favourite tips to help lift spirits during the winter months.
As light as air
Part of the problem in the darker months is that we tend to spend less time outdoors, so benefit less from fresh air and sunshine. Our bodies naturally produce melatonin, a hormone that aids sleep, and sunshine supresses this. That means that if you don’t get enough sunshine, your melatonin levels remain high throughout the day so that you feel dull and sleepy instead of bright and energetic. Sometimes during a UK winter it can be a bit of an uphill struggle, but getting outside for a couple of hours each day will help to keep your circadian rhythms in sync. When it’s warm and bright enough outside, open the windows for a few hours if you can, as well.
Create a scent-sation
Our sense of smell is a vital component of our mood.. Walking into a room that smells fresh and clean is a completely different experience to walking into a room that’s musty or stuffy. Citrus and floral scents are uplifting and help to bring back welcome thoughts of summer. Introduce them to your home in the form of diffusers, scented candles or essential oils (in oil burners).
We like lemon (calming properties, fresh scent), jasmine (energising), lavender (soothing), rosemary (stimulating), cinnamon (warming, plus it makes us think of Christmas!) and peppermint (energising, and makes the house smell like summer).
Allow yourself a little indulgence every so often. Fill a vase with fresh flowers, or invest in a single, perfect cushion, something that will make you smile every time you see it.
Release your inner crafter
One good thing about shorter days and longer nights is that many of us have more time for home projects. If you’ve never crafted before, don’t let that stop you – there are some fantastic online courses and ‘how to’ YouTube videos available at the moment. Creativity is good for the soul, and ending up with something you’ve made or customised yourself is very satisfying. Start with an easy project such as a cushion cover, or adding a border to an existing throw or blanket.
Paint am item or furniture, or customise it in other ways such as decoupage (cutting pictures from magazines, sticking them on and applying a coat of varnish to fix them). Teach yourself a new skill, such as baking, crochet or painting with watercolours – there’s nothing like making something by hand to lift your spirits.
Create a sanctuary
For some people, having an untidy living space can really affect mood. If your house is fuller than usual, though, it may also be harder to keep it tidy! Set aside a space just for you, whether that’s a whole room or a corner of an existing room, and concentrate on keeping that area clean and comfortable so that you have somewhere to withdraw to if it all gets a bit much! We recommend a comfy chair, a pile of good books, a decent reading lamp and a ‘no entry’ sign for the door….!
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