How Do I Make My Apartment More Cozy In Winter? 12 Women Share Their Comfiest Tips
The fall and winter months affect each of us differently. While some of us relish getting to pull out our comfy sweaters whilst sipping a delicious pumpkin spice latte, others don't take as kindly to the cooler temps. If the end of the year has you feeling the winter blues, consider these various ways to make your home cozy in the colder months.
There's a legitimate reason why the change in the season makes you feel a little... blah. It's called seasonal affective disorder, or SAD — let's first take a moment to acknowledge the irony in something called SAD literally making you sad.
SAD is a kind of depression triggered by the changes of the seasons, due to the decrease in sunlight, which can disrupt your body's clock, reduce your serotonin levels, and disturb your body's balance of melatonin.
According to the Mayo Clinic, SAD starts and ends around the same time every year — beginning in the fall and lasting through winter. Symptoms include oversleeping, low energy, feeling depressed most of the time, problems sleeping, difficulty concentrating, feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness, changes in appetite, and weight gain. Women are likelier to be diagnosed with SAD than men, and younger adults versus older adults.
Maybe you can't control the seasons, the weather, or the sun; but you can control your own home. One Redditor recently asked how people make their homes cozier in the fall and winter months — here is their advice.
Light therapy might help combat the changes in brain chemicals linked to SAD, and many people swear by it. These lights mimic the natural outdoor light, giving you what the fall and winter months sometimes can't. You can shop for SAD lamps online — some of them are really kind of pretty!
2Embracing Fall Colors
According to science, there's a concrete reason we love fall so much, and it has to do with our childhoods: autumn always marked the beginning of exciting things — starting school, seeing friends, shopping for school supplies. That love and excitement carried into adulthood, although we probably love fall for different reasons these days. Regardless, bask in the beauty of warm fall colors, and make the most of the season. You might just feel happier for it.
3Warmth And Good Scents
There's a name for the calming psychological effects of soothing scented candles: aroma-chology. Different scents promote unique feelings. For instance, jasmine is uplifting, lavender can calm anxiety, and orange blossom can help you sleep. Fall is the season of delicious scents like pumpkin and cinnamon — find one you love and light it up.
4A Good Crockpot
In news that's music to every woman's ears, some research has found that indulging in your favorite comfort foods can promote positive thoughts, improve your sense of well-being, and decrease loneliness. Plus, there's no better time than the colder months for homemade chicken noodle soup, chili and cornbread, and beef stew. And potpourri! That's a Pinterest dream come true.
Aside from the mental, emotional, and physical benefits of having extra light in your room, it looks really darn pretty. Whether you like rainbow-colored lights or plain white ones (or even something seasonal that goes with the holidays, like orange or red), stringing lights around your home is a easy, quick, and affordable way to jazz up the place, create a home you love to be in, and make you feel better inside.
6A Warm Bed
A heated mattress pad (or an electric blanket) doesn't just feel wonderful. It might also help you get to sleep, relieve tension, and improve muscle soreness and aches. When the winter months have got you feeling down, a heated mattress pad might save the day (and night).
7Fresh Air, Even Indoors
Being able to spend time outside and breathe the fresh air is definitely something we miss when it's so cold, you have to stay indoors. The problem is that the air in our homes is full of pollen, mold, spores, pet dander, dust mites, and other disgusting things none of us want to breathe in. Air purifiers use a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter and may remove as much as 99.9% of the crud in the air around you — helping making it a little easier to spend more time than usual indoors.
8A Green Thumb
Plants aren't just nice to look at (although that's a big part of it). Having plants in your home can also help improve dry skin, fend off colds and sore throats, clean the air, promote healing, reduce stress, and boost your mood. This doesn't even get into the psychological benefits of planting, either.
"Aromatherapy" is a word that's been thrown around so much, we forget it is a real type of therapy. The National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy defines it as, "the art and science of utilizing naturally extracted aromatic essences from plants to balance, harmonize and promote the health of body, mind and spirit. It seeks to unify physiological, psychological and spiritual processes to enhance an individual’s innate healing process." Some of us dismiss essential oils as perfume for your house; but if you want to make your place more cozy, you might want to buy a bottle and a diffuser and experience it for yourself, first!
10A (Fake) Fire In The Fireplace
Wrapping yourself in a big blanket and sitting by the fire certainly feels amazing, and nothing beats that soft crackling sound; but did you know research has found that watching a fire can reduce your blood pressure by as much as five percent, promoting a sense of calm and relaxation? Even if you have to use a fake fire, you may just reap the benefits regardless.
11A Cool Breeze
If an air purifier just isn't cutting it, you can still enjoy the fresh (albeit cold) air, in small doses. Throw open the curtains and sit by the open window wearing your favorite winter sweater. A few minutes with a chilly breeze in your face won't make you sick; in fact, it could make you feel a whole lot better.
12Enjoy The Daylight When You Have It
Don't let the short days and long nights get you down. While making your home more pleasant and comfortable is a total game-changer, also remember to enjoy the daylight while it lasts. Get up and start your routine, open all the blinds, crack open the windows if possible, and seize the day.