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Decorating to Beat the Winter Blues

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Posted: Sunday, February 16, 2014 10:00 pm | Updated: 1:33 am, Mon Feb 17, 2014.

(Family Features) With cold temperatures, dreary skies and bare winter landscapes, it's easy to feel a touch of the winter blues. But there are three ways you can bring some cheer to the inside of your home, no matter what it looks like outside.

Feel Better with Fragrance - The part of your brain that registers smells is closely linked to the part of your brain related to emotions. So adding some pleasant fragrances to your home can help boost your mood. Try room diffusers, candles and potpourri in different rooms. For a more personal pick-me-up, try scented bath water or body lotions. Some aromas to try:

  • Citrus - orange, grapefruit, tangerine, lime
  • Herbs and spices - rosemary, eucalyptus, spruce, peppermint, cinnamon
  • Floral - geranium, ylang ylang

Cheer Up with Color - Seeing red, green with envy, feeling blue - colors are often associated with moods and emotions. While you probably can't repaint a whole room, you can add touches of color to brighten things up and bring a smile to your face.

  • Add colorful accents. It's easy to find inexpensive frames, vases, bowls or knick-knacks to bring a cheery touch to a room.

  • Textiles are another way to bring a pop of color. Think about pillows, throws, table linens and small accent rugs. Inexpensive fabric remnants can be used reupholster a small chair or bench, and if it's pretty enough, you can even frame fabric and hang it on the wall as art.

  • Framed art can also add some lovely color. Enlarge and print up some of your favorite photos, or frame illustrations from a book.

Lighten Up with Light - Many people with true Seasonal Affective Disorder are treated with light therapy, using light boxes that emit light that's similar to daylight. Changing your light bulbs can help lift your mood, too.

  • Look for bulbs with a color temperature of 5000 Kelvins (K) or higher. They produce light which most people will perceive as similar to daylight.

  • Bulbs coated with neodymium filter out the yellow cast emitted by many bulbs. They also make blues and reds look richer.

  • Bulbs with "full-spectrum" lighting can also be helpful. While "full-spectrum" doesn't have a scientific definition, the blue-white tint produced by these bulbs gives off a brightness value similar to natural sunlight.

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