January can be such a tough month for many people. The holidays are over, the grass is brown, everything looks "dirty," the weather isn't great, many of us are missing sunshine and longer days, and spring still feels like a long way off. Trust me, friends; I'm right there with you! Here are a few ideas to brighten up your home and lift your mood that I'm doing and might help you, too!
Objects in motion stay in motion…just as objects that are at rest stay at rest. Rest time is over…get moving! Exercise can improve your mood and reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. Additionally, exercise can help reduce the symptoms of depression and enhance the quality of sleep, both of which can contribute to a better mood. Finally, exercise can also help improve self-esteem and body image, boosting your overall well-being.
Track Your Sleep
As weird as it may sound, sleep with your watch on and find out if you are really getting as much quality sleep as you think. :) Apple Watches measures movement and your heart rate to determine when you are in a deep sleep and when you are in lighter stages of sleep. Your watch can also use the microphone to detect sounds that may indicate that you are snoring or experiencing other disturbances during sleep. All of this data is used to generate a sleep report that can give you an idea of the quality of your sleep. Poor sleep can absolutely affect your mood and energy level to work out and live life to the fullest!
Get into a Routine.
Are the kids back in school yet???? I have a love-hate relationship with the holiday break. I love spending more time with my daughters, but by the end, we all need to get back into a routine! It's genuinely better for everyone. Routines provide structure and predictability to our lives. When we have a consistent routine, we know what to expect. We can plan accordingly, reducing stress and anxiety, as we don't have to constantly think about what we need to do next. A simple daily structure helps us feel more in control of our lives (and our kids), and we know when mom's happy, everyone's happy!
Open the Curtains!
Lord knows we're not getting enough sunlight this time of year, so open up the curtains as often as possible to let the light in! And, if you shudder looking at your dirty windows, wash them! Clean glass and sunlight can go a long way to lift your spirits, and you truly may not even realize how much you need it!
Turn on all the Lights
This advice is not great for your power bill or our planet, but I'd rather be in a better mood and be productive! When we're limited on the amount of daylight we get each day this time of year, creating an artificial environment of longer days is necessary. Light therapy lamps or light boxes are great options for many people if you experience any symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). I have not yet tried light therapy, but my friends swear by it. I'd love to know if you're a fan!
Go Clean Outside Anyway
We're not exactly into outdoor entertaining this time of year in Nebraska, but go clean anyway. It's filthy out, and everything looks the same color…brown. Who cares if you aren't going to sit at your patio table? When your entry and entertaining spaces look fresh, you'll feel better and look forward to the coming warmer days. Sweep your porch, clean your glass, wipe down your front door, wipe off your chairs, benches, and tables and add a cute seasonal decoration such as an Entry Envy sign. We can add your house numbers or last initial [monogram sign] and ship you a new faux floral decoration each month to keep your sign in style and season! Valentine's Day kits are shipping on January 22 [subscription link]. If you need a little "pick me up" for you or a friend, a custom sign or Little Envy box [link] is a great option!
Clean Your Car
Detail the inside of your car and go through the car wash every day if you want to. I can't explain why a clean car makes me feel like I own the world, but it does! My life feels in order and like I have things under control. The kitchen, perhaps not so much, but inside the bubble of my clean, organized car, it's a sense of peace and care, especially when I'm alone! I remember the days of toddlers in the car and how much I missed my "alone time" there. Young mama's, you will get it back again someday, and it's even more glorious! Car wash memberships are one of the best subscriptions created in the past five years. Lol.
Wear Brighter, Lighter Colors
Are you sick of everything in your closet right now? Yeah, me too. Now is a great time to get rid of anything you haven't worn in the past year. It's always hard for me to part with pieces I either wore once and feel guilty for buying or the pieces I've worn literally 200 times and need to be retired. When I clean my closet, I make space for a few new things and stop stressing about the guilt of "I never wear that, shouldn't have bought it" feelings and the feeling of "I'm so sick of this, but I guess I'll wear it again." Just purge, know you're doing a good thing by donating to women who need the clothes more than you do, and you can purchase a few new, soon-to-be favorite items that you'll feel fresher in. Do the same thing with your shoes. I just threw out a beloved pair of Cole Haans that I had obviously loved way too much and found a replacement on their site on clearance. It was a perfect win-win!
Trade Heavy Holiday Scents for Fresh, Lighter Scents
Remember to underestimate the power of your nose! It's time to move out the heavier, warm holiday scents of cinnamon, pumpkin, and spice for lighter, fresher notes. Aromas are powerful, and some studies have shown peppermint and citrus to boost energy and alertness. Buy what you like, but freshen things up! I absolutely love Nest and Capri Blue diffusers for my powder bath, which you smell right when you walk into my house.
Update your Makeup
You've spent the holidays taking care of everyone else. Go to the makeup counter and freshen up your look. It's been too long for me, and I could use a good eyeshadow palette update. Even a change in your skincare can help lift your spirits. When you look in the mirror and don't feel good about yourself, everything and everyone in your life will suffer! Look good = feel good in my book, period. Even during COVID, I got up every day to shower, put on makeup, got dressed up, and managed a law firm virtually from my house. It didn't matter if I had a Zoom call or not that day; it mattered to me. Many of you have seen my manta "Get up, dress up, show up." I mean it—every single day.
Update your Perfume
Some women have worn the same perfume for 50 years and never changed. Gosh, what happens when you do?! I've got about eight. I rotate depending on the day and what I feel like. Sense of smell is closely linked to the brain's emotional centers, and certain scents can trigger emotional responses. For example, certain scents may be associated with positive memories or experiences. They can evoke feelings of happiness and well-being when they are smelled. Additionally, certain scents have been shown to have a range of potential health benefits, such as reducing stress and improving mood.
Drink More Water
This seems like an endless to-do item, but truly, it helps. When you are dehydrated, your body does not have enough fluids to function properly. Dehydration can cause various symptoms, including fatigue, irritability, and difficulty concentrating. These symptoms can all contribute to a worse mood. If you are feeling thirsty, it is a sign that your body is already dehydrated. I always have a water bottle with me and drink a ton of water in the car. If you absolutely hate water, add some flavoring. Unfortunately, just because vodka is clear, it does not constitute as water. Dry January here, people. Just kidding. Damp January. ;)
Take Your Vitamins
If you are not an exceptional health freak and eat loads of kale and salmon, take your vitamins. Vitamin D, B-12, and a good multivitamin can make worlds of difference. If you're not sure of your levels and what you need, have your doctor run a panel. What we don't know can, in fact, hurt us. I'm exaggerating a bit on the kale and salmon, but not about knowing your numbers. Thyroid levels, melatonin, and other metabolic processes can hugely affect your health and mood. Take care of yourself! This goes back to the basics of flying. Put your oxygen mask on first before helping others.
Freshen Up the House
Consider replacing heavy blankets with lighter weight and lighter color throws. Declutter and stick to light-colored decor in whites, light woods, and shades of green. Replace entry rugs inside and outside the house with fresh ones. These don't have to be fancy; Costco and discount stores like Marshall's often have great options. You can only wash rugs so many times! Lastly, remember the garage. Garage entries get really dirty during the winter, and mud rooms are often neglected. These are the first impressions you get when you walk into your home. Oftentimes, we pay more attention to the entry our guest sees, but where you enter your house regularly is just as important.
Remember, warmer days will be here soon. Entry Envy Decor Kits will arrive each month until then to help keep your spirits bright and your space fresh. Wishing you all the best in 2023. Thanks for reading!
If we can help you enhance your entry, please let us know. We believe in the power of first impressions and want you to love coming home so much that we offer free virtual front porch consultations. Click HERE to send us a picture of your front porch.
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