When you can’t spend much time outside (due to winter conditions or unexpected social distancing recommendations during a global pandemic like COVID-19), the days can seem to drag on forever, especially if you suffer from seasonal depression, or seasonal affective disorder (SAD). According to Healthline, while the cause is unknown, those of us who live in places with less sunlight exposure are more likely to experience SAD.
One way to combat the symptoms is to increase your light exposure, even if you’re stuck inside. While some people purchase sun lamps or light boxes and spend time in that bright light, natural light also helps fight off the symptoms of SAD; sunlight triggers the production of serotonin, which is a chemical that boosts positivity.
Here are simple ways you can increase the natural light in your home:
Glass reflects light. An easy and cost-effective way to allow natural light to bounce around the room is to hang mirrors from opposite walls and find furniture with glass or mirrored accents.
Paint with light colors.
Cool tones like white, gray, cream, and light blue will boost the amount of natural light in your home. Repainting a dark kitchen, living room, or bedroom can instantly increase natural light exposure.
Walls aren’t the only thing that can be painted! High-glass paint on ceilings reflects light well and adds more dimension to the space.
Move your furniture.
Something as simple as moving couches or bookshelves away from windows or glass doors can let more light shine in.
Get lightweight curtains.
Your drapes and curtains don’t need to be heavy and made of brocade. This can make your living spaces feel dark and small, even if they aren’t. Instead, find a lightweight curtain made from linen or cotton that allows for more light while still adding security to your home.
Brighten up the floor.
Another easy way to bring in additional natural light into your home is to choose light wood flooring when designing the space.
A lighter stain is also perfect for those high-traffic areas—think kitchen, living room, and/or dining room—because they are much better as hiding scratches than a dark wood stain.
When you live in an active adult community with personalized floor plans, you can choose features that will brighten up your home in preparation for the darker months. Plus, being surrounded by like-minded neighbors gives you the perfect opportunity to invite friends over for a game night or participate in community-wide social activities to help combat feelings of loneliness during the winter months!
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