The cold weather doldrums are no match for these products and services.
Volunteering time to charitable endeavors has been shown to improve mental health and mood, and now it’s easier than ever to get involved – without leaving your home. Be My Eyes, a free app that pairs sighted helpers with blind or low-vision people, allows you to remotely assist users across the globe in tackling everyday challenges, from clarifying product packaging to confirming directions. You’ll be in good company: More than 2.5 million virtual volunteers have signed on since the program launched in 2015. Available for Android and iOS. bemyeyes.com
Expand Your Palate
Already a hot spot for Toronto-area vegans, flexitarians and foodies for 20 years, Fresh Restaurants finally arrived in the US earlier this year when they flung open the doors on their new West Hollywood location. With IG-worthy décor, a menu guaranteed to satisfy even the pickiest omnivore (its juices have claimed a cult-like following) and an ingredients list that checks all the clean-eating boxes, California has found its new favorite brunch (and lunch, and dinner) locale.
Brighten Your Day
The slim profile and portable size of the Verilux HappyLight Luxe makes it a great option for busy holiday travelers who need a quick shot of sunlight. Its full-spectrum LED light offers 10,000 lumens (the amount recommended by the Mayo Clinic for seasonal affective disorder) to bust winter blues, improve sleep patterns and make your home/office/wherever life takes you feel a bit more springlike. $100, verilux.com
An Olfactory Gift
Though you may feel a tropical vacation is just what the doctor ordered to cure you of the winter blues, there are plenty of cost-effective ways to shake you out of your slump at home. For starters, reach for a clementine. Anecdotal and scientific evidence has shown that citrus scents can help improve mood and increase energy, and coincidentally, these tiny citrus fruits make an appearance on grocery store shelves starting in November. TIP: Not into oranges? This grapefruit-scented candle – pretty much a vacation in a jar – is made from 100% coconut wax and is paraben-, phthalate- and cruelty-free, so you’ll feel good whether gifting it to your Secret Santa or sparking it when your guests arrive. Tilly Candle, $40, byrosiejane.com
Sometimes to perk up your mood, you just need a push in the right direction. That’s where the You Are a Badass 2020 Day-to-Day Calendar by Jen Sincero, your personal desktop life coach, comes in. Each page delivers a daily piece of sage advice or words of wisdom to remind you that you can totally do this. From $11, amazon.com