With winter in full swing, many people may find themselves feeling moody or a little depressed due to fewer hours of available daylight and the gray, overcast skies that often accompany the winter season. This feeling of wintertime depression, appropriately known as SAD (seasonal affective disorder), is so prevalent that it is thought to affect as much as 20 percent of the population, most of which are adults, aged twenty or older. If you have been diagnosed with seasonal affective disorder or just find yourself feeling a bit out of sorts due to gloomy winter weather, consider using one or more of the following tips to help brighten your home and your mood. 

Maximize the available light in your home

The first thing to do when trying to brighten your home is to walk through each room and look for ways to maximize the potential of the light you currently have available. Some suggestions for maximizing existing light potential include: 

  • making sure that light fixtures and lamps are clean and working properly
  • swapping out some of the bulbs and lamps in the home for ones that are brighter and offer more natural looking light
  • using sheerer curtains on some windows to maximize the amount of natural light in the home

Add accents that add additional light and interest to your home

Another way to brighten the mood of your home is to add accents that will be sure to catch your eye and add some cheer to your day. Doing this is easiest when you choose to add mirrors or reflective surfaces that will sparkle and capture existing light and combine them with the flickering warmth of candle light. Some ideas for doing this include: 

  • displaying a selection of fat candles of differing heights in an unused fireplace with a square of mirrored tile positioned behind the candles to reflect the flickering light
  • displaying decorative candle lanterns in rows along window ledges, partial walls, or within alcoves and architectural elements interspersed with small decorative mirrors to add both sparkle and warmth to larger areas of the room
  • displaying candle lanterns on mirrored dressers and bath vanities to cast a warm glow throughout bedrooms and baths

Remember to always use candles safely in your home to prevent the risk of fire. Do this by making sure that they are only lighted when an adult is awake and able to monitor their use. In addition, make sure that candles are never placed on flammable surfaces or near curtains, fabric, paper, or other flammable materials.