The first few weeks after Christmas and New Year can sometimes be a little gloomy, and we’re not just talking about the weather. With post-Christmas blues and the back-to-work slump, it can be hard for people to get motivated. And because of this, the third Monday in January has been branded ‘Blue Monday’, referred to by some as the most depressing day of the year.
We’ve pulled together our top five, easy ways to boost your mood around the house, duringBlue Monday – and any other day when you’re feeling a bit below par.
The colours in your home can have a huge impact on your mood, so it’s important to bear that in mind when decorating. Although everybody has different tastes, there are some colours which you should definitely try if you’re wanting to create a happy environment. Green is one of the most popular wall colours, as it’s said to have a refreshing quality, help ‘clear the mind’ whilst also reminding us of nature and tranquillity. Another popular happy colour is pink, which is said to be the colour of hope, helping people feel empowered whilst increasing energy levels and motivation. The likes of light blue and pale grey are also popular colours to create a calming environment. Colours that should be avoided in mass quantities are bright red, as this can make you feel angry and/or stressed, and black/dark brown, as these can make you feel dreary and decrease energy levels.
As well as being aesthetically pleasing, having house plants around the home can also help to make you feel happier. There have been many studies that show that house plants improve concentration and productivity levels, whilst also helping to reduce stress and boost your mood. Some house plants, such as snake plants, spider plants, peace lilies, ferns, English Ivyand rubber plants, also help to purify the air, which can help to boost oxygen levels too!
Being exposed to natural light can have a profound impact on our mood. Being exposed to it regularly throughout the day can help the body’s circadian rhythms stay in sync, which in turn, improves mood and wellbeing. Even if it’s bad weather outside, there are plenty of ways to maximise the natural light around the home, without having to step foot outside (although that will definitely help you feel happier too!) The most obvious way is to open all of the curtains and blinds around your home during daylight hours. This will make you feel more awake and increase productivity levels. The positioning of mirrors can play an important role in the exposure of natural light too. If you place a mirror where the light hits, it will bounce the light around the room, creating a brighter room and making you feel happier.
Whether it’s a reading corner in the bedroom or a tranquil bath setup, you need to find a place in your home that is your sanctuary; where you can go to relax and not think about the everyday stresses of life. Add personal touches that make you feel calm and happy, whether that be pictures of friends and family, candles, a certain lighting, your favourite snacks or even a houseplant. Try to keep this space as tidy as possible, as you know what they say; ‘tidy house, a tidy mind.’ If you struggle to find the time to tidy, then a good way to stay on top of things is to set aside five minutes each today (you can even set a five-minute timer) and de-clutter/tidy your little sanctuary.
Scent is a very powerful tool, and it can often play a role in your mood. When a nice fragrance travels to your brain, it actually releases feel-good endorphins and serotonin, which in turn, improves your mood. Whether it be candles, diffusers, essential oils or simply just a nice air freshener, there are plenty of ways to keep your home smelling fresh. And it turns out, there are even certain smells that will make you happier too. Lavender is one of the most popular, as it has been shown to help treat depression, improve sleep, and reduce cortisol levels. Jasmine is also a common happy scent, and some studies have even shown that it helps to soothe nerves, relieve anxiety, and promote rest. Citrus scents such as lemon, orange and grapefruit are energising and uplifting scents, as we tend to associate citrus withcleanliness, which can make people feel fitter, more confident and in control.