Bob Vila Radio: 3 Bright Ideas for Beating the Winter Blues

SAD is a fun acronym, but there's nothing lighthearted about its symptoms—or the depression it can cause. If you or someone you love has been diagnosed, try out these easy design tricks to combat SAD this winter.

You’ve probably already heard of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), the illness triggered by a lack of light during the season of shorter days.  What you may not know, though, is that your home can help you fend off its symptoms, including low energy levels and depression.




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The end of Daylight Savings Time can mark the onset of SAD symptoms for millions of Americans every year. If you’ve been diagnosed, start in your bedroom to maximize those morning rays. Spray both sides of your bedroom windows with glass cleaner, and wipe them clean with a microfiber cloth to dissolve dirt and grime. You might want to install larger windows or add a skylight down the line, but there are a few wallet-friendly fixes to try first.

Start with blue bulbs, which mimic daylight and can be added to the overhead lights and lamps you already own. Light therapy boxes are the next step up, with most containing several high-output fluorescent tubes that provide 100 times more light than normal fixtures. Even a half hour in front of the lamp each morning will help alleviate SAD symptoms.

Position mirrors to bounce sunlight around the room, and hang a colorful painting or two for for visual stimulation on grey days. Finally, surround yourself with living things: a hardy houseplant or a well-stocked terrarium are low-maintenance picks, and they’ll remind you of the sunny days right around the corner.

Bob Vila Radio is a 60-second home improvement radio tip of the day carried on more than 186 stations in 75 markets around the country. Click here to subscribe, so you can automatically receive each new episode as it arrives—absolutely free!