Seasonal Affective Disorder (also known as SAD) affects approximately 6% of the U.S. population. An additional 14% suffers from a less severe form of SAD known as the winter blues.
If you're part of either of these groups and need help boosting your mood during the winter months, you may want to consider changing up the decor of your home. There are lots of mental health benefits you can experience when you add plants to your home.
Read on to learn the benefits of houseplants for combating SAD. You'll also learn about nine of the best mood-boosting winter houseplants.
Benefits of Houseplants for Seasonal Affective Disorder
Initially, it might seem silly to think houseplants could help improve your mood and fight SAD. In reality, though, there's some compelling research showing houseplants can do a lot of great things for people who are struggling.
Some specific benefits of houseplants for Seasonal Affective Disorder include:
Exposing yourself to nature - be that in the form of a "forest bath" or simply surrounding yourself with houseplants - can help you feel more relaxed.
How does plant exposure help minimize stress levels? First, it has been shown to lower blood pressure. Spending time in or around nature can also help lower cortisol (stress hormone) levels.
There are many houseplants known for their air purifying properties. Dirty, contaminated air can leave you feeling depressed, tired, and sluggish. By cleaning up the air in your home, you'll likely feel happier and more energized.
Improved Concentration and Productivity
If you work from home and notice your productivity slipping during the winter months, a few well-placed houseplants can make a big difference.
Houseplants help enhance your concentration and productivity partly because they purify the air in your home. They also tend to make people feel calmer, more present, and more focused.
Best Winter Houseplants to Beat the Blues
Any kind of greenery can help boost your mood. But, these nine houseplants are some of the best options.
1. Rosary Vine
Rosary Vine (also known as Ceropegia Woodii) is a beautiful indoor plant with trailing vines and heart-shaped leaves. Rosary Vine isn't just a pretty plant, though. It also works hard to purify your air.
Another great thing about Rosary Vine is the fact that it can handle cool temperatures. As long as your house never gets colder than 45 degrees, you should be able to keep it alive.
The fresh aroma of a peppermint plant provides a ton of mental health benefits. This plant can work wonders for your mood, memory, focus, and productivity.
Not only do peppermint plants smell delicious, but they also taste great. You can add fresh peppermint to your favorite winter drink to give it a seasonal kick.
Peppermint is also an easy plant to keep alive and grow indoors. As long as you keep the soil moist, you shouldn't have any trouble maintaining it.
Eucalyptus is another fragrant houseplant that can give your brain a boost during the dreary winter months. The scent of eucalyptus is energizing and can provide a nice pick-me-up when you're feeling tired or run down.
It can also help you feel calm, focused, and at ease during times of stress or when you're feeling anxious or depressed. Dealing with a cold or another winter illness? Eucalyptus can help clear your sinuses and eliminate congestion.
4. Snake Plant
A Snake Plant can significantly reduce the presence of toxic gases in the air. It's a great purifying plant which also makes a beautiful addition to your home.
Snake Plants are especially beneficial if you're struggling with headaches or respiratory issues. You'll breathe easier and feel more alert by having one (or more) in your home.
You may also find that you sleep better when you have a Snake Plant in your home. Getting better sleep can help ward off depression and stabilize your mood.
5. Alocasia Polly
Alocasia Polly is a beautiful plant which can enhance any room in your house. It requires a little more work than other houseplants, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.
If you're struggling with winter depression, having a task that needs to be accomplished on a regular basis can help give you a sense of purpose. The Alocasia Polly plant requires bright but indirect sunlight and a room temperature of 60-70 degrees.
Don't place it on your windowsill, and remember to mist it regularly. This helps prevent it from drying out and succumbing to the lack of humidity in the winter air.
6. Chinese Evergreen
If you're not up to the challenge of caring for the Alocasia Polly, don't worry. There are lots of other plants that are durable and practically impossible to kill. One such plant is the Chinese Evergreen plant.
Chinese Evergreen is great for new and/or busy plant owners. It stays bright and green all through the winter months, which can help you feel happier, calmer, and more alert.
Chinese Evergreen does fine in low light, and it also doesn't require much water. Essentially, you'd have to try really hard to kill it.
Another plant that's easy to keep alive is the humble cactus. At first glance, they might not seem that attractive. But, remember, cacti come in thousands of different varieties. It's easy to find a unique one that matches your specific tastes.
Cacti don't need much water or care. All you have to do is keep them in your windowsill so they get some sunlight.
8. English Ivy
English Ivy is a flowering plant that can purify your air and help eliminate allergy and asthma symptoms.
This plant is especially good for getting rid of airborne mold, which can wreak havoc on your mood and mental well-being. Many people also find that English Ivy helps them get a better night's sleep.
9. Aloe Vera
Finally, if you want another great air-purifying plant, you need to invest in some Aloe Vera.
It's one of the most powerful air purifiers, and many people find their feelings of depression and anxiety abate when they have an Aloe Vera plant in their home.
Aloe Vera is a low-maintenance plant needing little water and attention. Egyptians even refer to it as the "plant of immortality" because it's so resilient.
Get Your Winter Houseplants Today
There are lots of winter houseplants out there which are great for enhancing your home and elevating your mood during the darkest, coldest days of the year.
If you're ready to start adding some new houseplants to your home, come and visit us at Decker's Nursery today.