Many of us start to feel a little down during winter, as the nights get longer and the mornings feel colder and darker. Winter blues can develop into the more serious SAD, or seasonal affective disorder, which can limit your ability to carry out your usual activities.
Winter sadness can be particularly troublesome in the mornings, and you might struggle to feel motivated. If you find yourself hiding under the covers, dreading the day ahead, then try making these simple changes to your home. Small improvements can have a big effect on your well-being — give them a try, even if you're sceptical.
Invest in under-tile heating
One of the worst parts of winter mornings is the feeling of stepping onto freezing cold bathroom tiles. With under-tile heating, this problem is solved completely. Say goodbye to shivering on a flimsy bath mat and hello to a warm, toasty floor. Under-tile heating mats are easy to install and can be controlled using a thermostat. You can set the floor to heat up for just before you get up, so it's perfect by the time you're in the bathroom. You won't waste any money on unnecessary heating, as the mat can be switched off during the day. If you have a tiled kitchen that you tend to walk around barefoot while getting breakfast, consider under-tile heating in there too.
Install a SAD light
A SAD light is a special lamp which gives off a bright, white light, meant to make up for the lack of daylight during the winter months. Sitting in front of the light for at least half an hour a day has been proven to reduce symptoms of SAD, increase energy levels and boost motivation. Keeping a SAD light in a room you usually use in the mornings makes it easy for you to reap these benefits. Simply sit in front of the light while reading your morning newspaper, eating breakfast or watching TV, and enjoy a boost for the rest of your day.
Use a dawn simulating alarm clock
If you work in a job that requires you to be up before sunrise, then a dawn simulating alarm clock can be a real help when it comes to getting out of bed. The alarm clock includes a light which gradually increases in brightness, encouraging you to wake up naturally. By the time the alarm goes off, you should already have been gently woken by the increasing levels of light in your room. Your brain will be tricked into thinking it's daytime, so you won't feel the need to bury your head under the covers for another hour.