Navigating Daylight-Saving Time and Preparing for Shorter Days
As the days grow shorter and the nights longer, there’s a palpable shift in the rhythm of our lives. The annual ritual of turning back the clocks marks the end of daylight-rich evenings and signals our inevitable descent into the cozier, darker months of the year.
Yes, it’s that time again – Daylight Saving Time. On Sunday, November 5th, we’ll “fall back” one hour.
For some, this biannual clock adjustment is merely a minor inconvenience, a one-hour shift that might go unnoticed. However, for many of us, it’s a change that disrupts our daily routines, affects our sleep patterns, and even impacts our mood. In fact, reduced exposure to natural sunlight can negatively affect our body chemistry and can interfere with mood regulation. Shorter days can mean reduced physical activity and social interactions which may contribute to feelings of isolation.
But fear not! With a little knowledge and some strategic planning, you can not only survive but thrive during this transition.
Tips for Navigating Daylight-Saving Time:
1. Get Outside. When possible, spending time outside during daylight hours, especially midday when the sun is the brightest, can help improve mood. When indoors, keep curtains and blinds open and sit near a window if possible.
2. Keep Active. Regular physical activity can boost mood and energy levels. Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week. Consider indoor activities like yoga, dancing, or joining a gym if outdoor exercise is not an option.
3. Maintain a Regular Sleep Schedule. A consistent sleep routine can help regulate circadian rhythms and improve sleep quality. Ensure you get enough quality sleep by sticking to a consistent sleep schedule. Avoid excessive use of electronic devices before bedtime, as the blue light emitted can disrupt your sleep.
4. Socialize and Stay Connected. Try to maintain social connections with friends and loved ones. Consider joining clubs or groups that align with your interests.
5. Practice Mindfulness and Relaxation Techniques. Practices like mindfulness meditation, deep breathing exercises, and progressive muscle relaxation can help reduce stress and improve mood. Consider using a meditation app or attending mindfulness classes.
6. Get Your Vitamin D. Eating nutrient dense foods containing vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids can positively impact mood and energy levels.
7. Seek Professional Help. If mood changes are severe or persistent despite trying these strategies, it’s essential to consult with a mental health professional for support and appropriate treatment.
With these strategies, we can prepare to welcome the darker days with open arms and bright minds.
Here’s to your Well Being!
Kaitlin Malishkevich, LAC, CRC, NCC