Shine a Light: Cure the Winter Blues the Natural Way

A women opening her curtain to let the sun shine into her room.

Find the light in your daily routine. You might be surprised how much natural light you can bring into your life, simply by making a little effort to seek it out.

Psst-- We see you there hiding under the covers waiting for Spring (that's our favorite hiding place too!) Or maybe you leave for work before the sun rises, and come home after it sets? Sometimes it feels like we never see the light of day. If it's any consolation, you're not alone-- not enough sun exposure can put us all in a funk.

There's a reason we associate bright, light, sunny colors with happiness, and darker colors with, well, more gloomy feelings. Sunlight and darkness trigger hormones in the brain that tell us how we feel. When exposed to natural light, our body produces serotonin, which boosts your mood, focus, and clarity.

Good news! You can reap the rewards of natural light from the comfort of your heated home, office, or anywhere else you spend time. Think outside the box and make an extra effort to be bathed in natural light.

Tips for Adding Natural Light to Your Life

  • Seize the Sunny Day! Make it a habit to open the curtains, blinds, and shades. Allow as much sun as possible to shine in.
  • Drop the Drapes. Think about ditching heavy curtains altogether from parts of your house where no one sleeps.
  • Color Me Happy. Light colors reflect light, while dark colors trap light in. Avoid dark paint colors, opting for whites, creams, pastels, and other light shades. Consider covering a dark floor with a light colored rug
  • See Double. Double your pleasure, double your sun. Decorate your walls with mirrors, and consider adding metallic surfaces, like candlesticks to your décor to reflect the sun to other parts of the house
  • Make a Splash. Add a glass or ceramic tile backsplash to your kitchen or bathroom. It not only looks great, tile also reflects nearly all the light that hits it to light up your room naturally.

Stuck in the Dark? If you live in an apartment or other living situation where natural light isn't readily available, or if you spend all day in a windowless office, seek out light in other ways. Bundle up and take a brisk walk during your lunch break. Choose a window seat at a restaurant, coffee shop, or airplane.