Feeling The Winter Blues? Declutter The House For A Mental Boost!

Shorter days and colder weather bring the urge to participate in the human form of hibernation. This means long naps, lots of TV, and a general sense of lethargy. Research from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) indicates that approximately one-third of adults sleep more during the winter. Quality sleep is desirable, though fatigue goes beyond this. It follows people throughout the day and makes any semblance of energy difficult to achieve.

Exhaustion doesn't have to be part of the winter experience. A variety of strategies can be implemented to promote an energetic approach to life. This begins with a bright, cheery, and clean home environment and should encompass other health habits. The solutions to winter weariness are very similar to those used to beat seasonal depression. 

Understanding Winter Fatigue

woman-at-home-with-burning-fireplace-during-winter-2022-01-19-04-31-16-utcWinter fatigue has a variety of sources, the most notable of which is the lack of sunlight. Exposure to light is critical for maintaining a desirable circadian rhythm, but with shorter days, this can be difficult to achieve when other contributions to winter fatigue include dietary changes (especially around the holidays) and a relative lack of exercise, often due to weather concerns that stand in the way of outdoor physical activities.

Together, these issues can lead to a form of depression known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) or a milder (but still undesirable) feeling of lethargy. 

Signs and Symptoms of Winter Fatigue

Winter fatigue and SAD are notable because of their seasonal impact: often, these issues arrive as the days get shorter, escalate with cold weather, and subside as spring approaches. Common expressions of SAD include:

  • Sleeping longer hours
  • Feeling tired throughout the day
  • Relying on caffeine
  • Craving carbohydrates
  • Social withdrawal 

Enhancing Indoor Environments

apartment-interior-in-white-and-blue-2022-02-08-22-39-28-utcGuides on how to get rid of winter blues or how to get rid of SAD primarily focus on spending time outside, but this is not always realistic. Between frigid temperatures and icy surfaces, many people simply aren't able to head outside during the colder months.

Thankfully, indoor improvements can be nearly as helpful in boosting your mood. A clutter-free, perfectly decorated environment can provide a long-term correction to an individual's mood while delivering a much-needed dose of winter cheer. 

The Role of Cleanliness in Fighting Winter Fatigue

Even small amounts of clutter can make spaces seem much smaller and more confined which is why decluttering is a must for fighting winter fatigue. Less is more, take some time to sort through and determine which items call for donating and which should be disposed of. From there, vacuuming and carpet shampooing will tackle debris and unsightly stains, which, if left unaddressed, also contribute to a dingy environment.

The act of cleaning is helpful in and of itself. This is a form of light movement, and, while some find it challenging to get started, many admit that just moving around feels better than sitting. The key to a clean home is to do a little each day so that essential tasks don't pile up or feel overwhelming. 

Benefits of Using High-Quality Vacuums and Cleaning Tools

ShampooWinter fatigue means that, often, even simple activities feel as if they require undue effort. For many, the easiest way to combat this is to invest in high-quality cleaning tools and supplies. These take the guesswork and strenuous physical effort out of the equation.

There's no need to get on hands and knees to scrub when a high-end shampooing system is available. Cleaning solutions are also helpful for ditching odors and improving household scents so that indoor spaces feel fresher and more inviting. 

Maximizing Natural Light Exposure

There is no substitute for natural light but a beautiful indoor space can go a long way toward improving energy levels during the winter. Exposure is best achieved by spending time outside. When that's not possible, opening the drapes should help. A clean interior, partnered with maximizing natural light, enhances the spaciousness of indoor spaces.

Creating a Healthy Lifestyle

black-woman-cleaning-room-2022-12-16-00-19-57-utc-1Simple lifestyle changes can boost energy throughout the day, although many people feel that making these adjustments is more challenging during the winter. There's nothing wrong with starting small and building upon minor habits until they feel effortless.

Exercise, Sleep, and Their Impact on Energy Levels

A properly cleaned home will make indoor exercise much more enjoyable. Popular strategies include exercise videos and even live virtual classes, which bring accountability to the picture. 

Exercise can have a dramatic influence on energy levels throughout the day and even sleep quality at night. The mechanisms behind this are simple: exercise sends oxygen to tissues throughout the body while also boosting feel-good chemicals known as endorphins. The ideal routine will emphasize moderate or intense activities in the morning to provide an initial surge of energy, followed by more relaxing movements such as yoga or stretching at night. 

Nutrition and Diet for Winter Wellness

Perfection is not realistic, especially when holiday celebrations take over, but experts recommend striving for a well-rounded diet that includes some protein and produce every day. A few indulgences are okay but balance is essential in winter and throughout the year.

As we navigate the chill and cheer of the winter season, remember that small, consistent steps in maintaining a balanced diet and embracing positive lifestyle choices can make a significant difference. Implementing a few strategies to combat the winter blues can elevate your energy levels and mood.

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