Winter is coming and with it a particular clutter-related issue: when dark corners appear and never are highlighted by sunbeams, then dust, dirt and clutter will start to build up. We all have those corners in the home where things accumulate simply because we never look, but now clutter can start to creep in and hide in plain sight, in those dark corners.
Quite apart from the accumulation of clutter, the human mood is highly sensitive to light levels, and the right kind of light on top of that. One of the possible effects of the darker period is called SAD seasonal affective disorder, which also goes by the name of “winter depression”. Symptoms of SAD include a persistent low mood, lack of interest in activities, irritability, feelings of despair, lacking in energy and feeling sleepy all day.
There are several theories why this happens: too much melatonin is produced (the hormone that makes you feel sleepy), lack of serotonin (the hormone that affects your mood, appetite and sleep, or the body's internal clock is disrupted by low light levels, confusing your body cycles.
Well, this sounds like a medical issue, but really there is an easy fix for most of those symptoms: get more sunlight onto your body! Of course, you don’t want to sit outside in the cold to catch some rays of sunshine, but there is a better solution: bring more light into your home. Any light will help as long as it is not making you feel uncomfortable, like a high-energy fluorescent tube.
To get the best results, you may want to consider a special lamp called a “SAD light” or light box, though. Such lamps create light that approximates morning sunshine and are used to give you a boost for short periods between ten minutes and an hour.
The main benefit is that such exposure will likely improve your mood, but as a side-effect it will also light up your space to a degree that dust, dirt and clutter have less of a chance to slip under your radar. And because you are also feeling less sluggish, maybe you’ll even feel moved to do something about whatever mess comes to light!
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Hi, my name is Tilo Flache. My current mission: help my clients declutter mind and space.
This blog contains pointers for your journey towards a happier living experience.