According to Medline Plus, depression affects more than 20 million Americans.
For many people, winter complicates the issue by bringing about yearly battles with Seasonal Depression (also referred to as Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD). A three decade-long study by the experts at News in Health, indicated that between one and 10 percent of the U.S. population suffers from SAD, but there’s hope. Light therapy helps ease symptoms. Fellowship with other people also helps, as does behavioral changes. If you’ve been diagnosed with SAD, focus on staying social and take on a home improvement project to your channel your focus.
These three household projects will crank up your interaction with others, while allowing multiple benefits along the way:
1. Paint a Room
Dry winter air decreases the drying time of paint and makes the job go more quickly. Purchase paint, materials, coffee and donuts and assemble some friends to help with the project.
Photo by Charles & Hudson via Flickr
2. Refinish Your Hardwood Floors
Ready to shift your focus to the floors? This is a job for more than one person, so call in for back-up. You’ll need manpower to remove or repair old flooring, prep the surface and assemble new hardwood flooring. Although it’s a simple process, it requires attention to detail to do quality work. Preliminary requirements include:
- Removing dust and dirt
- Setting all protruding nails
- Maintaining 70-degree room temperature
- Providing adequate ventilation
Bigger projects may require you to have a trash bin delivered and picked up from a company like Next Day Dumpsters to remove and dispose of all your old flooring
Photo by dno1967b via Flickr
3. Eliminate Opportunities for Interior Pests
In the winter, unwanted critters in search of warmth can be drawn to your home. Skunks, rats and opossums may inhabit your home’s crawl space, and you may start to notice mouse droppings beneath the bathroom and kitchen sinks.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), rats and mice can spread more than 35 diseases. The danger comes not through direct contact but rather through the physical handling associated with cleaning up after the rodents. Contact with mites, fleas and ticks that have fed on infected mice can also spread disease to humans.
Photo by Ruud Hein via Flickr
According to the experts at Orkin, a single pair of mice can produce up to 200 offspring in just four months; furthermore, each mouse contaminates more food than it eats.
Eliminating interior pests can be dangerous and frustrating, so act in advance to save time and money. Use a high-powered flashlight to identify rat entry holes. Seal with steel wool topped with spray foam. If you have sufficient working space, cut aluminum flashing and staple it over the foam. Set traps in your crawlspace and/or basement. For pet and child safety, avoid poisons.
To prevent bigger critters from getting into home’s crawlspace, seal the pathways with treated plywood or metal skirting. Repair broken air grates. If you work at night in the hopes that the critters are out roaming, use a spotter to prevent unexpected interruptions. And if dealing with a skunk in the crawlspace, call for professional help.