The winter season is all fun and games up until New Years Eve has long passed and you find yourself daydreaming of warm, sandy beaches. While there are still many cold days ahead (boo), it’s never too early to prep for warmer days and halt winter hibernation in its tracks. Carb overloading, seasonal allergies, and your lack of movement could be to blame for not quite feeling like your normal self. But don’t worry- it’s temporary. Improve your state of mind starting with your apartment.
Remember that cheerful scent of spring flora? Bring it back to life with aromatherapy. Diffusers and essential oils help to improve your general health by reducing anxiety. Your sense of smell can actually influence your brain and body to relax, and it is the strongest sense related to memory; especially long term memory. All it takes is a smell of something delicious, like the scent of coconut and peach bellinis – and you are instantly transported back to where that smell was significant. Fake it till you make it!
Let there be light! Literally. As winter progresses, the days get shorter. Your mood may get darker too. Deprivation of sunlight can make people feel lethargic, gloomy, and irritable, and for some it can lead to the condition known as seasonal affective disorder, or winter depression. Despite the chilly temperatures and instinct to stay in bed, take advantage of the sunshine and get outdoors. Let light travel through your apartment by removing stuffy, bulky curtains and furniture blocking windows. Add floor lamps and tableside lamps to increase the lighting in areas where light seems to be absent. And probably your best bet- invest in a heat lamp and bask in the warmth.
Spruce up your apartment décor with bright, happy accents. If you’ve been feeling “blah” lately, your non-existent color scheme could be to blame. Pops of color and reflective surfaces boost your sense of alertness and emotional well being. “Color is a universal, nonverbal language, and we all intuitively know how to speak it,” says Leslie Harrington, a color consultant and a noted expert on the use of color in residential and industrial decor. “What color you paint your walls isn’t just a matter of aesthetics. It’s a tool that can be leveraged to affect emotions and behavior.” Vibrant throw pillows and patterned rugs are easy and creative ways to liven up a room. When decorating with wall accents and accessories, mix colors and texture. Replace your all-white bedspread with something bold and new. The possibilities are endless.
Bring the outdoors into your apartment. Houseplants are easy on the eyes and add a pop of color without even trying. Their health benefits outweigh the one chore that comes along with ownership; watering. Indoor plants increase humidity levels and decrease dust, reducing cold-related illnesses by more than 30%. You may not know that an excess of carbon dioxide can elevate drowsiness, stress and prompt headaches. Plants remove carbon dioxide from the air. Some plants, like eucalyptus, can help clear congestion from your system and act as a natural humidifier. By softening the air and increasing the moisture level in your home, you can kiss dry winter skin goodbye.
Stick to a routine and honor commitments. Have you been putting off that dinner party you promised you would host? Now is the time to invite friends over for mulled wine and a home cooked meal. Surrounding yourself with people who make you happy is debatably the number one fix to seasonal hibernation- and it’s a good motivator. No matter the reason you’re having people over, (to watch a game on TV, do indoor yoga or host game night) you’ll need to get organized and clean your home. Which brings us to our last piece of advice…
Get a head start on spring cleaning. It’s never too early to roll up your sleeves and tackle this daunting, yet rewarding project. Sure it’s not the most exciting thing you could do to keep busy… but it gets you up and moving. Are there dead plants? Too many paintings on the wall? A stack of old newspapers and magazines taking over your living space? Your surrounding environment can influence your inner state of mind. While similar to relieving stress, living in a clutter-free home has a calming effect allowing you time to focus on other things and, maybe even, reuniting with missing items. A thorough Spring cleaning can also clear your home of lingering allergens that may induce allergies, like dust, mold and pollen tracked into the home.
While we wish winter would just go away already, we aren’t going to let it get the best of us. Life doesn’t have to stop just because we are currently on the set of Frozen. Get inspired!