Chances are, the sun sets before you leave work these days. No one likes feeling dark and closed in all day long. So, it’s time to get proactive and let the light in. After all, winter isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
Get brighter. It’s important to get exposure to natural light during winter months. You could invest in a desk lamp that mimics daylight. Or you can even just upgrade your bulbs — look for standard bulbs listed as 4100 Kelvin colour temperature.
Add colour. A pop of colour — be it an area rug or throw blanket — can add major light to your grey workplace. Consider the mood your want to create in your environment. For example, purple will add a sense of calm to your space while orange will energize it.
Liven up. Plants are miracle workers indoors and out. They purify the air, lift the mood and can create a general sense of well-being in the workplace. Consider the air quality in your workplace. During the winter, it’s likely warm and dry. So look for hearty plants that will add moisture to the air without demanding much upkeep. We recommend spider plants and English ivy.
The winter blues go by another name: seasonal affective disorder (SAD). While only two to three percent of Canadians will experience severe depression during the winter months, another 15 percent will experience mild SAD. Beyond that, many of us forfeit our favourite activities during the winter months — socializing with friends outdoors, taking nature walks, visiting the beach — leading to boredom and a sense of loss.
So what can we do to combat the winter blues or the boredom that arises when we pack away our summer hobbies?
How to avoid the winter blues
Catch some rays. The sky may be gloomy and grey, but you can find sunshine in other places. Try adding a light box or sunlight lamp to your desk or bedstand. Research shows that exposure to daylight produces chemicals in the brain that act as mood boosters.
Go outside. Physical activity and nature are both mood boosters. Unless there’s a cold weather alert, it’s safe and healthy to spend time outdoors during the winter. Take a snowy hike, strap on some ice skates or take up a winter sport, like skiing.
Plant something. House plants are natural air purifiers and mood enhancers. In the winter months, we tend to spend a lot of time indoors, making clean indoor air even more essential to our health. Staying happy during winter requires staying healthy. For powerful air filtration, try spider plants, aloe or English ivy.
What’s your favourite way to combat the winter blues?