Winter is coming. I’ve never been a fan and I’m not sure I ever will be a fan of winter. Don’t get me wrong I love Christmastime. The cozy fireplaces, setting up our tree, twinkling lights, cheer, etc., etc., but I confidently feel that I could easily enjoy all of that goodness in the presence of sun, ocean, and sand. Anyone else??
Unfortunately I don’t (currently) have the option to be transported to a tropical climate from November to April (yes…winter in the prairies doesn’t truly end until April!!) so instead during the winter months I do what I can to make the most of it, jet away for at least a couple weeks to Hawaii, and create a little home oasis in preparation for….duh, duh, duhhhhh…winter.
I quickly want to mention that the “winter blues” I’m referring to in the title of this post is not intended to mean full-blown Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a diagnosable mental disorder (type of depression) that affects around 4-6% of the population. SAD is treatable and should approached with the guidance of a trusted health professional. For this blog post I am referring to a general sense of “meh” around the winter season which occurs primarily because of the cold, snow and limited amount of sunlight. I personally have experienced the winter blues over the years and I’ve learned many ways to tackle them which I’m excited to share with you today!
If you are home a lot during the winter, making your space a welcoming oasis can truly help you ‘weather the storm’ and beat those winter blues. These home interior additions can help you feel better each time you walk through your front door out of that snowy cold.
Lighten Up With Bright Whites: With the general lack of sunlight and darker, gloomier days during the winter, things can get bit dark and drab inside too. It’s always helpful to brighten up your space with white! You can paint your walls or a certain room a bright, airy white (my sister swears by Benjamin Moore White Dove), or simply add in white accessories like pillows, a rug, or curtains.
Sweeten Your Space With Succulents: These beautiful little plants require very little sunlight to thrive making them a great winter plant in the home. Plus they are so pretty, have a tropical feel, and can create a sense of calm and contentment.
Aromatize The Air: Use essential oils and a diffuser to spread warm, winter scents like cinnamon, juniper, and vanilla or fresh, energizing scents like eucalyptus, mint, and orange in your home. These smells can boost your mood and promote a sense of wellness.
Add In Wood Elements: Earthy elements like wood, in the form of accent furniture, decor, or picture frames help to bring “life” and “earthiness” to your space which can often feel sparse in the cold winter climate. I love the natural wood coffee table at the centre of our living room as it serves as a warm, inspiring piece in the winter months.
Hang Uplifting & Dreamy Art: When the reality outside your windows is cold, dark, and snowy, it’s nice to have pictures hanging on your walls that capture your favourite serene settings or earthy elements such as an ocean horizon, sandy beach, or pretty palm leaves. Etsy has a plethora of amazing prints you can swap into your current frames during the winter months.
Accessorize with Cozy Throws & Pillows: Embrace the “cozy” aspect of winter with warm, plush cushions and throws that you can prop all around the house. Rather than feeling cold and grumpy, you can curl up with a beautiful throw, lean against a nice cushy pillow and enjoy a hot cup of tea in your home oasis. Again, Etsy has some amazing options!
Pot Lots Of Plant Babies: Not only do plants bring uplifting, green life into your home, certain plants also help to detoxify the air which is a great thing during the winter when the windows are closed and the house can become stuffy. Some of my favourite detoxifying plants include the snake plant, bamboo palm, aloe vera, and fiddle leaf figs.
Upgrade Your Lighting: Choose one main light in your home that could use an upgrade and maybe doesn’t give off the best light and upgrade it to a beautiful, bright showpiece that can bring life to your space and shed light on your home oasis. Wayfair is an amazing website with a range of affordable home lighting options!
Is there anything on my list that you think you’ll add to your home this winter season? I’d love to hear what you do to help with the winter blues if you live in a cold (or dark) climate, and which of the things on my list you’ll incorporate into your space!
In addition to creating a Home Oasis I also wanted to share some other things I do/have done that help me beat those winter blues:
Up The Vitamin D – Winter usually means a big lack of sunlight with shorter days and spending most of the time indoors so I always up my Vitamin D by taking around 5,000 IU per day (in drops). Low vitamin D levels and seasonal affective disorders are closely linked so if you experience SAD (or the winter blues) your Vitamin D intake is definitely something to evaluate.
Drink Up Green Smoothies – Just because it’s the middle of winter doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a tropical inspired fruit smoothie! I love to make green smoothies all throughout the winter months. Green smoothies not only provide a great dose of nutrients to boost energy and mood, they also mentally transport you to warm summer days, sip by sip!
Use A Light Therapy Lamp – Also known as “happy lamps” these lights bring daylight inside by emitting a bright, full spectrum light that mimics sunshine (without the skin damage!). These lights have been proven to combat SAD and boost energy levels in the winter months. You can find them at many large retailers including Walmart, Costco, and Amazon.
Book A Tropical Vacation – Sometimes we need to just get OUT of the winter cold…and I mean OUT, OUT! Planning a warm destination vacation each winter always gives me something to look forward to and provides a much needed break from the snow. Justin and I typically go to Hawaii in February or March for a couple weeks and I always return feeling rejuvenated and recharged to endure the rest of winter. In my opinion it’s a worthwhile investment.
Visit An Indoor Waterpark, Conservatory, or Garden Centre – If jetting off somewhere warm isn’t in the cards, you can usually experience a little taste of the tropics by visiting an indoor waterpark where the air is humid and the water is warm, or a conservatory or garden centre where they sell tropical plants. During the winter I often visit local garden centres or greenhouses and just walk around the humid space filled with green for a mood boost!
Exercise & Get Outdoors (snow or shine!) – I’ll admit during the winter my motivation to get outdoors, let alone exercise while outside, can be low. I do know however, that when I do get outside and get moving, I always end up enjoying it. In the winter I will often meet friends for walks through the ravine to get a nice dose of fresh air, nature, and community (which can also be harder in the winter when we all tend to hibernate!). Participating in outdoor winter sports or activities like skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, or skating can even help you embrace the winter season (…or so I’ve heard, haha…).
Seek Help – If you feel your winter blues may actually be full-blown Seasonal Affective Disorder and your day-to-day life is being affected, definitely go speak to a professional (doctor or therapist). SAD is more common in women than men, those with a history of mental disorders, and in those who live in northern climates. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. Psychotherapy and lifestyle changes can be hugely helpful and even medication can be necessary in certain cases. It’s always important to listen to your mind and body and ask for help when you need it. On another note, if you know someone who you think may be more susceptible to the winter blues or seasonal affective disorder, check in with them through the season to see how they are doing.
Ok Winter, let’s do this! Who’s with me?? Be sure to pin the photo below to save this post for later and of course, share the love!
Have a wonderful Sunday,
Christal // NITK