The importance of light and air through COVID-19
Enhance your work from home space and your mental health
Over the past few months our world has changed quite dramatically, we’ve had to adapt our homes to become spaces to not only sleep, eat and relax but teach, learn and work. By now, most of us have developed new routines, but it hasn’t been easy.
During this time, we’ve truly valued the need for natural light and fresh air, more than ever before. Those of us who have been furloughed (or not) have been enjoying working out in the garden whilst listening to the birds chirping or appreciating long countryside walks to escape their hectic home life routine even just for an hour or so. We’ve been blessed with some amazing weather and for those of us that have already had to postpone an overseas holiday, we still managed to get some summer sun albeit with a home-made sangria or margarita in hand!
But as well as enjoying the sunlight and fresh air outside, we have also become acutely aware of the gloomy spots in our houses, often moving to make the most of the light as the day passes. Let’s learn from this and look at how we can make our homes brighter and airier.
Working from home
For the safety of our families and our colleagues, many of us now work from home and probably will continue to do so for the foreseeable future whilst COVID-19 remains a threat.
Studies have found a huge impact on the relationship between our access to daylight during the day and our ability to focus properly and be productive. If we spend all day and night in a dimly lit home, it can cause us to get distracted far easier than if we were exposed to enough daylight. This is extremely important as we probably have more distractions around us than ever before, like screaming toddlers or the cat jumping on your lap halfway through your latest Zoom meeting!
To reduce eye-strain, you'll want to ensure you have adequate lighting in your workspace. Choosing a sunny spot near a large window or set of glass doors would be the most effective. If you need to supplement overhead lighting, consider borrowing a floor lamp or table lamp from another room to create a well-lit desk. If after the first day working in your new space your eyes feel overly tired, it's a sign to update the lighting. Try adding another source of light or adjust the position of your desk.
It’s more important now than ever to stay positive and upbeat and natural light can help to boost our moods and make us feel happier.
When we’re exposed to sunlight it heightens the brain’s production of the mood-enhancing chemical serotonin. The more sunlight we are exposed to, the more serotonin we produce. Which means we’re happier and more productive when we add more sunlight into our homes.
Whether we’ve been working or not we’ve all experienced disrupted sleep patterns through this uncertain time. Worries about financial issues or family health may have taken over but increasing natural light levels can help us sleep better.
Natural light causes our bodies to release good levels of serotonin and Vitamin D – the key ingredients needed to regulate our mood and help us to sleep properly at night.
It’s a scientific fact that we sleep best in cool, comfortable environments, and fresh air plays a big role. Research shows that people may get better-quality sleep when fresh air circulates in the bedroom so keep the latch on your windows and let a little air into those bedrooms! You'll feel better for it.
Keeping healthy during lockdown is a must! Many of us have avoided going to hospitals and doctors when we’ve felt unwell because it’s not been safe for us to do so.
When exposed to sunlight, the skin absorbs vitamin D, a critical nutrient that prevents bone loss and reduces the risk of heart disease, weight gain, and various cancers.
Meaning, increasing your skin’s exposure to natural light safely where you spend the most time, be it home or the workplace, is equally important.
How to get more natural light
Mirrors, mirrors, on the wall
Help light bounce around a room with a mirror …or two …or more. Reflective surfaces throughout your home will help smaller spaces feel bigger and brighter.
Go au natural
Curtains may be lovely to look at, but their elegance is nothing compared to the health benefits of allowing daylight to stream in.
While white is the most reflective colour, you don’t have to make your home look like a hospital. Try using pale pastel colours for a bright and cheery look.
Eggshell or satin finishes will also help to reflect the light, creating the appearance of even more space.
Clean your windows
Yes, we know. This one seems a little obvious, but simply cleaning your windows can have a major effect on how much sunlight streams into the room. The less dirt, dust and splatters on your windows, the more sunshine can pour in.
Doors for days
Try adding large glass doors (if your home permits) to replace darker areas of your home to discover views you never knew you had.
By adding a set of Bi-Fold doors, you can bring the outside in… it’s a great way to extend your home without having to build an extension; it’s much cheaper too!
If you’d like to continue to adapt your home in the coming months whilst you and your family spend much more time there, our Independent Network of installers are approved by Which? Trusted Traders and are on hand to provide expert local, knowledge on what will work best for your home style and individual budget.
You’re only a few steps away from enjoying the health benefits of enhanced natural light in your own home.Find your local installer