#3 – Go Into The Light
‘Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow.’ (Helen Keller)
Many religions and countries around the world celebrate a festival of light, such as Diwali, to symbolise the triumph of light over darkness, but for many people the battle is ongoing and the fear of the darker months very real. For lurking in the gloom of a winter’s evening are feelings, for some, of isolation and loneliness, melancholy and misery.
Banishing the dark completely from one’s life is not easily done but getting plenty of natural light into your home can help. Whilst it isn’t always possible to get outdoors it’s quick and simple to keep the curtains open during the day and welcome natural light into your home. If you have limited apertures consider swapping your curtains for venetian blinds with wide slats, which let in almost perfect light. Try moving your favourite chair closer to a window, or spend more time in the conservatory, if you have one. Keeping your décor pale and neutral can also make a huge difference to your mental wellbeing. Bright white ceilings, light floor coverings, chrome fittings and large mirrors, can really help to make the most of any available light and bring a sense of wellbeing and calm to your home.
For the greyest days, and those months when the dark descends long before bedtime, remember also to turn on your lights. In our dedication to make our homes more energy efficient, it’s easy to exist in a state of semi-darkness throughout the winter, with nothing more than a table lamp and the glare of the television to light the late afternoons and evenings. A darkened home triggers the release of melatonin, the chemical which causes us to feel sleepy, and whilst it might be tempting to head for bed, doing so when darkness closes over you at 4.30pm on a December afternoon, is not the most industrious activity, and being productive is a reliable method for keeping the blues at bay.