Close the door to Blue Monday
The 20th of January is said to be the most depressing day of the year, occurring at a time when the Christmas festivities have become a distant memory, our bank accounts scraped bare and the days dark and cold.
It’s no wonder that we tend to feel low, which is why it’s more important than ever to be mindful of our overall wellbeing. One way, among many others, to make a change could be by improving the indoor environment we live in. There are a few handy tricks which can help you beat the blues.
Let the light in
Around 5% of the world’s population is, according to the Lighting Research Center in the US, hit by some sort of depression or seasonal affective disorder (SAD)1, characterized by recurrent depressive episodes in the autumn and winter.
While the cause for feeling blue or depressed is not yet fully uncovered, studies in the past 20 years have documented how exposure to bright light significantly affects our wellbeing and can help reduce the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder2. Symptoms of SAD can be increased feeling of depression, reduced interest in various activities, sleepiness and irritability, and increased appetite and consequent weight gain3.
Something as simple as pulling your curtains back and pulling up your blinds can let more light into your home. Also, pay attention to when you shut them again: wait until the sun has fully set or they can deprive you of what little sunshine your home is getting at this time of year. During work hours, ensure to work close by a window, as they provide at least as much light as a light box, also used in some parts of the world as treatment of SAD2.
Transform spaces If you don’t have enough light coming into your home, you might want to consider a more permanent solution. Whether you want to improve an existing room or create new space and maximize the amount of sunlight coming into your home.
When thinking about adding an extension to your home, it’s important to consider the function of this space and how you best can maximize it. By placing a roof window over a kitchen table or work top, you can transform this space, making it enjoyable when preparing meals and ensure you’re exposed to natural light, or for children completing their homework.
For those whose renovation plans are focused on an existing room in the home then designing with light in mind can also have a transformative power. Think about the direction the room faces and position seating in places where the light is most likely to fall. Adding another window is always worth considering if possible. If a roof window isn’t an option, VELUX sun tunnels are also a great alternative.
 Lighting Research Center: https://www.lrc.rpi.edu/programs/daylighting/dr_health.asp
 Wehr et al. (1991). https://www.lrc.rpi.edu/programs/daylighting/dr_health.asp
 Wirz-Justice et al. ”Natural’ light treatment of seasonal affective disorder” (1995). https://www.lrc.rpi.edu/programs/daylighting/dr_health.asp
For more than 75 years, The VELUX Group has created better living environments for people around the world; making the most of daylight and fresh air through the roof. Our product programme includes roof windows and modular skylights, decorative blinds, sun screening products and roller shutters, as well as installation and smart home solutions. These products help to ensure a healthy and sustainable indoor climate, for work and learning, for play and pleasure. We work globally – with sales and manufacturing operations in more than 40 countries and around 11,500 employees worldwide. The VELUX Group is owned by VKR Holding A/S, a limited company wholly owned by non-profit, charitable foundations (THE VELUX FOUNDATIONS) and family. In 2018, VKR Holding had total revenue of EUR 2.6 billion and THE VELUX FOUNDATIONS donated EUR 118 million in charitable grants. For more, information, visit www.velux.com.