Get a head start on Spring
There’s no cure for winter — except the passing of time — as those of us waiting out these last few dismal weeks can attest. But there are ways to bring Spring into the home a little earlier, and to make waiting for it a little less painful.
Think about spring and what’s one of the first things that comes to mind? Colour, of course — blue skies, green grass and riots of brightly coloured flowers. Those hues can bloom indoors long before the first daffodil has shown its face. For affordable, high-style décor and accessories, you can probably do no better than to look in the nearest Bouclair. There are few Canadian retailers who are better at doing budget-friendly, stylish accessories and décor pieces in great colours.
Take a look at the pretty pink and ruffled pillow from the Goteo collection, in which a 13- by 20-inch rectangular cushion sells for $25. Or bask in the sunny tones of cheery yellow storage baskets and glossy candle holders — each less than $10. Super shiny candles and tea-light holders come in crocus colours. Go now for some late winter colour therapy.
Make plans to head back to the store in April, though, when a new collection of bedding, outdoor accessories and pillows in Ikat-inspired prints and bold stripes will be in stores, along with a new line of wallpapers (a first for the Quebec-based retailer).
Hate the dull mornings and lack of sunlight during winter? Try using a Philips Wake-Up Light; an alarm/radio that mimics sunrise by gradually increasing light over a 30-minute wake-up period. In addition to the light, the clock also has a FM radio alarm, and three alarm sounds; singing birds, birds in the forest and a tranquil Zen garden. A sunset feature allows the user to fall asleep to gently dimming light. The Wake Up Light sells for about $170. I discovered another use — as a fan of watching movies at home, I like to have the lights out to recreate the theatrical experience. On dim setting, the Wake-Up Light provides the perfect amount of illumination.
Philips also makes the goLITE BLU, a portable light therapy device that the company says is clinically proven to increase energy and help with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), known colloquially as the winter blues. It provides the same spectrum of blue light that you’re bathed in during sunny days and which is supposed to help maintain an optimal level of melatonin, a hormone believed to regulate the sleep-wake rhythm.
The goLITE BLU has four blue LEDs that can be adjusted to one of four brightness settings. Product literature suggests it will last some 50 years even if the product is used 30 minutes a day (the typical recommended time) throughout the year. There’s a light timer and alarm, so users can time their exposure to the light. It comes with a rechargeable battery and travel case. Prices start at about $150. Go to www.philips.ca for a list of retailers.
Keep in mind
that when it comes to mental health, it’s unwise to self-diagnose. If you think
what you experience is more than just a simple case of the winter blahs, you
should talk to a doctor. In the meantime, go to the website of the Centre for
Addiction and Mental Health for an excellent information video about SAD.