For some people, having “the winter blues” is more than just a figure of speech: seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a depression-related condition brought on by shorter days and a lack of sunlight. The shut-in lifestyle many adopt during the fall and winter can make the seasons feel a little bleak, and while you can perk up your home sanctuary with a happy light, there are also a few totally free ways to alleviate the blues.
According to Apartment Therapy, the first thing to do is to give your kitchen (namely, the fridge and pantry) the Marie Kondo treatment. Since seasonal weight gain is one of the symptoms of SAD, Psychology Today reports, you can get a leg up on it by making smart eating and snacking choices now. Traditional comfort foods that are full of sugar or packed with carbs can spike your insulin levels, which, aside from being detrimental to your health, can kill your mood. Instead, pick foods that are high in protein and good fats, AKA keto-friendly snacks.
Another way to tackle SAD is to get more light in your home. A simple and free way to let the sunshine in? Clean your windows! By taking some healthy cleaning solution to the glass, washing your curtains, and dusting off your window frames, you’ll give natural light its greatest chance to do its mood-boosting work.
And since the act of cleaning and doing chores is already good for you, embrace these tips as a happiness-inspiring, life-enhancing win-win.
This is how one editor felt after using a happy light during the winter and the natural ways a psychiatrist recommends beating SAD.