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How to beat the stuck-at-home blues — from improving air quality to a reno project you can actually finish

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With so many of us stuck at home, alleviating cabin fever might be as simple as a few updates around the house.

With so many of us stuck at home, alleviating cabin fever might be as simple as a few updates around the house. (Katarzyna Bialasiewicz/Dreamstime/TNS)

CHICAGO — While we have been staying at home during the pandemic, Zoom became our new favorite bar, we purged our closets, built endless 1000-piece puzzles, got serious about cooking, lived in sweats, embraced houseplants, and haven’t interacted with many other humans except our immediate family members and the masked strangers that we encounter at the grocery store.

If cabin fever is finally setting in as you hunker down for the dark days of winter, just remember that there is light at the end of this tunnel. Even the color trend experts at Pantone made that point with their color of the year picks for 2021: a grim gray, and a bright, forward-looking, sunny yellow.

Here are a few great ways to make being stuck home a little easier, from a quick renovation project to a light therapy lamp that mimics the sun for a mood boost.

Start (and finish) a home reno project

Vinyl wall stickers are trending as a fast and easy way to freshen up a room. Maya Rotem’s Balloon Bunny wall stickers instantly transform a nursery or kid’s room. Prices vary based on design and wall size and start at $35. amazon.com

Breathe easy

Since the start of the pandemic, we have been spending a lot more time at home and that creates extra dust and extra smells. Dyson’s Pure Humidify+Cool air purifier is a multifunctional machine for home air treatment. Its sealed filtration system captures gases and particles and projects purified, humidified air throughout the room. Dyson’s line of air purifiers start at $399, amazon.com

There’s no better time to give your home a makeover than a new year. If you don’t have the money to remodel, here are a few things you can do that will completely change the look of your home without spending too much. Buzz60’s Johana Restrepo has more.

Get a houseplant that gives back

Brighten up your kitchen — and your cooking — with Click and Grow’s self-sustaining herb garden. The system has more than 50 plant varieties that come in pods. Just add water plug it in and get ready to cook. $141, amazon.com

Leave the bedroom slippers in the bedroom

Laines London makes chic, fluffy slippers that dress up a day working from home or a quick trip to the grocery store. The rubber-soled slippers are embellished with a crystal beaded brooch that can be detached and worn on clothing. $62, wolfandbadger.com

Turn your shower into a spa

Place one of Cleverly’s Aromatherapy Shower Steamers on the floor of the shower to release the aroma of essential oils as it melts away. The set includes 6 fragrances: Lavender, Eucalyptus, Vanilla, Watermelon, Grapefruit and Peppermint. $24.99, amazon.com

Get a mood boost

Shorter daylight hours in the winter months can bring on Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, which can cause people to feel depressed or fatigued, and by staying at home during the pandemic, we are getting even less exposure to sunlight. Light therapy is one way to get a daily dose of sunshine to increase your serotonin levels and boost your mood. Tao Tronics light therapy lamp mimics the full spectrum of light found in daylight. Just place the lamp in front of you and set the 30-minute timer to alert you when your session is finished. $35.99, amazon.com

Kick your kitchen game into high gear

You’re spending more time in the kitchen than ever so treat yourself to better cookware. Green Pan’s ice blue Padova ceramic nonstick 10-piece cookware set is engineered for high performance with a coating that won’t blister or peel. The eco-friendly pots and pans are designed for healthy cooking as well as easy cleanup. $249.99, goop.com

RELATED: 10 home trends to spruce up your space this winter

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