by MITA MISTRY
WITH autumn upon us and the days getting shorter against the gloomy backdrop of lockdown and social distancing, how can we possibly remain bright and happy during this time? The good news is we can take small actions to literally bring more colour into our lives.
Studies show that feel-good hormones like dopamine are released when we look at bright colours. Since the colour palette is vast, the various hues can have a different effect on our mood.
Happy colours are warm or bright like yellow, orange, red and pink. And if you are looking to feel calmer, then blue and green are good choices for their relaxing effect.
But whatever you prefer, we love seeing colours because they create an energising and optimistic feeling. That’s why it’s essential to fill our surroundings and routine with the positive energy that colours can bring. It doesn’t have to be anything drastic like dying your hair vibrant blue or painting your walls wildly, but if you need a pick-me-up, then here are some fun ideas to add more colour:
Try splashing on some bright pink or red lipstick even if you’re not going anywhere. A bold shade immediately brightens your face.
If you’re not a make-up fan or prefer neutral colours, perhaps try coloured lip balm – with cooler weather and indoor heating on, it will keep your lips hydrated too.
Paint your nails. Be bold, try a bright new shade you’ve never used and perhaps, experiment with oranges, pinks and red. It’s not like we are going to see co-workers in offices anytime soon.
If like many, you are missing attending weddings, celebrating festivals or even going out in gorgeous jewel-coloured outfits, why not dress up anyway? Perhaps get your beautiful outfits on during Diwali or on a Friday night zoom call or go for a glam walk in the park.
Wear a bright jumper (it’s a bit too soon for the Christmas one), a red scarf, perhaps a pair of funky coloured high heels, or even fun socks. In fact, wearing a pair of funny bright socks is entirely personal and simply knowing that they are secretly hidden under your trousers will feel like you’re living life on the edge. Will they get found out?
Give your living space an instant colour lift with accessories. Throw a pair of bright blue cushions over your sofa, an orange throw on your bed or a bright vase in the living room. It’s amazing what a little splash of colour in the home can do.
Try growing colourful flowers in pots on the windowsill. It’s on my to-do list and I will be delighted if they survive winter. Or you could invest in a colouring book and create crafts like knitting a scarf using lively coloured wool.
Brighten your diet with red or yellow peppers, strawberries, oranges, tomatoes or any colourful foods that are healthy too.
While colour can influence our thoughts and feelings, the effects are personal. And with more scientific research in the field of colour psychology we will have a better understanding. But in the meantime, with Diwali around the corner why not enjoy exploring the beauty of colour to change your mood and uplift those around you.