The colder months invariably trigger seasonal affective disorder, which makes everything just a bit harder. This year, with all the time they’re spending indoors, everyone seems to have a touch of it. If you’re working on projects around the house, this is an opportunity to prioritize home improvements that help with seasonal depression. You’ll feel a sense of accomplishment for completing a project, change up the scenery you’ve been staring at for so long, and take greater satisfaction in your updated surroundings.

Fresh Paint

Color can have a powerful effect on your mood. There’s a good reason smiley faces are yellow, after all. Changing your interior paint is something you can even do yourself, one room at a time. Yellow is considered the happiest color, while red gives a room an injection of energy. Go with green to invoke nature, harmony, and stability. Blues and duskier, gray-based shades can be calming in a bedroom—and those colors are right on trend, too. If you’re not handy or if you get in over your head, don’t hesitate to call in the professionals to finish the job. Make it as pleasant an experience as you can.

New Window Treatments

Light has long been proven to improve mood, and natural light is more appealing than plug-in light boxes. It increases the value of your home, too, since buyers are drawn to bright interiors. Designers are doing away with heavy drapery and opening up windows with sheer panels of fabric. Another trend is to hang curtain rods higher and let longer curtains extend to the ground and even pool a bit. If you haven’t updated your blinds in a while, you’ll have a good time exploring the chic roller shades that are easier to open when you need them and that come in different weights and transparencies.

An Exercise Space

It might be too cold to sweat outside and health clubs may be off-limits, but you can multiply those endorphins in your own space. Empty-nesters finally have the chance to repurpose kids’ bedrooms, and a home gym is an improvement you can use now that could also pay off when you sell. It’s one of the most effective home improvements to help with seasonal depression because it promotes regular exercise. Doctors across the board recommend it to combat stress and anxiety. It might even help you sleep better. Adding a new piece of equipment could motivate you to get moving. Many homeowners are devoting areas to quieter yoga studios and meditation rooms, which can have positive effects, too.