Help Beat the Winter Blues by Doing This 1 Thing
When the temps reach their hip-creaking coldest and days are at their hibernation-inducing shortest, it’s pretty common to start feeling the winter blues. Not even celebs are immune to winter’s bleakness: In an interview with Marie Claire magazine, Miley Cyrus divulged a tidbit about how her mom wanted to combat SAD (seasonal affective disorder) with light therapy during her 12-hour-long days filming Hannah Montana. She’s not alone. More than 14 million Americans suffer from depressive mood swings during the months of September through April.
Medical professionals have historically recommended the best way to get over the winter blues is through absorption of light, be it sunlight, light therapy or light from a box. Perhaps that’s true, but research says you don’t get a whole lot out of staring at light — other than those annoying photo-bleaching tracers, of course.
However, there’s a new study out of the University of Vermont that just might have an answer to dealing with the aptly acronymed disorder, and it’s not what you’d expect. If you wanna stop feeling some kinda way, put away the boxed light and hit up someone for a little chitchat. Yes, the simple act of talking may be just what the doctor ordered.
Led by psychology professor Kelly Rohan, the study recruited 177 research subjects who were treated with six weeks of half-hour light therapy sessions or two 50-minute sessions of cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) per week for six weeks. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, CBT focuses on exploring relationships among a person’s thoughts, feelings and behaviors, and is highly effective in turning those frowns upside down. During the study, therapists would help subjects identify the problem/negative behavior, and then talk it out.
Two winters after the initial treatment, 46 percent of the light-therapy group found themselves once again depressed, compared to just 27 percent of the CBT group. “Light therapy is a palliative treatment, like blood pressure medication, that requires you to keep using the treatment for it to be effective,” Rohan says. “Adhering to the light therapy prescription upon waking for 30 minutes to an hour every day for up to five months in dark states can be burdensome,” she continues.
CBT, by contrast, is a preventive treatment. “Once SAD sufferers learn its basic skills, it has enduring impact, giving the person a sense of control over their symptoms,” Rohan says. So once you’ve got the process down, practice it with someone — a stranger, a loved one or even yourself. Better yet, the next time you’re holed up indoors, alone under a blanket, with a box of Oreos and Netflix’s new releases, invite someone over for a pep talk… and to share that sleeve of cookies.
Have the winter blues? Tell us about your experience and methods of dealing with the disorder by tweeting us @britandco.
(Photos by Paul Zimmerman and Jemal Countess/Getty Images)
Pocket doors are so delightful in and of themselves. They appear when you need them, get tucked away when you don't, and make it easy to define rooms while keeping an open floor plan. Add to the pocket door a joyful patterned wallpaper surprise, and you will be sent right into fits of visual jubilation! Or something ;) Today we're sharing two simple and impactful pocket door makeovers that zhuzh up your space in a jiffy.
Anjelika Temple here, co-founder of Brit + Co and proud owner of several pocket doors! When I moved into my first real grown-up house a couple years ago, I knew I wanted to incorporate wallpaper so reached out to our friends at Chasing Paper to see how we might collaborate. It felt like a total lightbulb moment when I realized I could create a surprise pop of pattern on a couple sets of pocket doors.
Not only is it a whimsical way to bring color into a space, but the doors double as picture-perfect backdrops for all your SFH (selfies from home, obvs).
A few pro tips about install:
- Removable wallpaper is miraculously forgiving! You can take it on and off multiple times without it losing integrity (or mucking up your surface).
- I ordered this adhesive wallpaper installation kit with a squeegee and xacto knife and it worked super well. I also recommend a sharp pair of scissors for cutting longer lines.
- This is a two-person job! Get a friend, put on a playlist, and get ready to bond.
- Wild, organic patterns like Tally are great because it's challenging to spot any imperfections in pattern alignment; keep pattern choice in mind if you've got a lot of corners to match up. More geometric patterns and larger shapes leave less room for error (but are awesome in their own right!).
BATHROOM POCKET DOORS
In our primary bathroom, we chose the wallpaper pattern Tally, designed by Kelly Ventura, in White and Navy. In our space, the navy reads as a soft black, which is perfect for the space. It's easy to combine an ever-rotating collection of linens with the Tally pattern.
I love how the white trim becomes the perfect frame around this pocket door piece of art.
My favorite moment in this space is the fact that you actually get a third pop of pattern thanks to our serendipitously placed mirror!
And yes, this one works pretty darn well as a backdrop too ;)
LIVING ROOM DOUBLE DOORS
This set of doors is definitely a focal point of our home. It separates our living room from our primary bedroom which opens onto our backyard. The doors are pretty much always open, but when they're closed we wanted to evoke a fun, nature-inspired vibe. With that in mind, we selected the Lines and Moons pattern by Thimblepress in Green and Brown.
Earth mama vibes up in here! I love how the shapes and colors echo the ferns you see through the windows and the acorn wood details throughout the house.
Love this pattern moment, and xacto-ing out the door handle is def on the oddly satisfying DIY list.
For a pattern lover like me, I love that now I have this instant photo backdrop!
Thanks to Chasing Paper for providing these rolls of pure pattern amazingness. Head to chasingpaper.com to find our own favorites and start adding patterns to your home!
(Wallpaper wingwoman: Kayla Haykin; Photography: Kurt Andre)