How To Combat The Winter Blues And Seasonal Affective Disorder At Home

[Avoiding the darkness can be a challenge when daylight savings time ends. (Credit: Getty Royalty Free)]
If you look out the window and you’re not sure if it’s 5:37 p.m. or midnight, it means daylight savings time is officially over. If you experience the “winter blues” this time of year, know you’re not alone. The effect of sunlight on mood is a very real thing, says Dr. Stephen Dansiger. “Many people are happy about the additional daylight early on, but the early onset of darkness is difficult for many. The fact that the days are shorter and shorter will force many into all their daylight hours being spent at work, while living in darkness while out and about and at home. For those who are not night owls, this can wear people down.”

On a more extreme level, these feelings can also be symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD. As Dr. Dansiger explained to me, “Seasonal Affective Disorder is when people develop a series of depressive symptoms during the winter months. They may or may not have depression or depressive symptoms other times of the year, but the lack of sunlight exacerbates the difficulties in mood or creates them from scratch.”

Those who believe they may have SAD or simply have trouble managing their emotions during this season should seek professional help. While it won’t cure or prevent a disease or illness, maximizing exposure to light and bringing positive energy to your living space can improve your mood and be part of a larger treatment plan to manage symptoms.

Let The Light In

[Make the switch to sheer curtains during the darker months. WAYFAIR]
It’s obvious, but opening curtains and pulling up blinds will instantly allow more sunlight to shine through from outside. However, this can create privacy challenges. An easy fix is to switch out opaque curtains for sheer styles like this set from Wayfair. Another option is installing sheer blinds like Hunter Douglas Silhouette Window Shadings.