You’ve probably experienced how a bright, sunny day can lift your mood, while a dark, overcast one can leave you feeling down. There’s a reason for this. Studies have shown that sunlight plays a powerful role in helping people boost their overall well-being and cope with stress. Sunlight is believed to help stimulate the body’s production of serotonin, a hormone that helps regulate your mood and reduce depression.
While you’re staying at home during the coronavirus pandemic, you can create a sun-filled space to help keep you and your family calm and ease your stress. Try these helpful tips for bringing more natural light into your home — and improving your mood, too.
Start With Your Windows — Inside and Out
Clean your windows. It may sound simple, but giving your windows a thorough cleaning can bring more light in. You may be amazed at how much dirt and dust has collected on the glass. Be sure to clean both the inside and the outside for the brightest results.
Declutter. If you have any objects in front of your windows, now is the time to tidy up. Move any furniture, books, floor lamps or other items blocking the light to another spot.
Give outside greenery a trim. Are there any overgrown bushes or tree branches outside your windows? Trim them back and let the sunshine in.
Mirrors can help make a small room feel larger. And with creative placement, they can also add some welcome light to a room. Try these tips:
- Place a large mirror on a wall next to or across from a window. This will help reflect more natural light into the room. It can also create the illusion of having another window.
- If you don’t have a large mirror, hang a group of smaller mirrors next to or across from a window to add more light.
- Try hanging a mirror next to other light sources. For example, position the mirror near wall sconces or place it in a room with a large light fixture.
- If you have bookcases, clear off a few shelves and line the backs of them with smaller mirrors. Using mirrored coasters or decorative mirrored boxes will work, too.
Lighten Up Your Window Treatments
If you can swap out heavy or dark drapes for something sheer or lighter, do so. If not, work with the window treatments you have by following these tips:
- Hang your curtains or drapes higher, closer to the ceiling and further out to the side of the window frame. This will make your space feel much larger and open, and it will allow more light to come in through the window.
- If you have a window that has drapes as well as blinds, remove the drapes for now. Using only the blinds (and keeping those raised and open during the day) will immediately lighten up your room. Horizontal blinds also let you adjust the light upward for extra brightness.
- If you have a window valance or top treatment that covers part of the top half of a window, raise it so it’s above the window. This will allow more natural light in.
Work It Out
If you’re working at home, now’s the time to rethink where you spend most of your workday. If your desk is currently against a wall, see if there’s a way to place it in front of a window.
Of course, the best way to get natural light is to go outside. If you have a yard, a deck or a small balcony, bring your laptop outside to get some fresh air and sunshine. Even a little bit of sunlight will go a long way in improving your mood.
We’re Here to Support You
We’re here to help you and your family find ways to cope by providing supportive care for body, mind and spirit. For more tips on dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, visit our Coronavirus Resource Hub.