It’s very common for people to feel depressed in the weeks following daylight savings. Though we rejoice over the extra hour of sleep, the earlier sunset and shorter daylight hours leave many of us feeling blue. Here are my eight favorite ways to beat daylight savings blues and get the most out of the season.
1) Eat dinner earlier. This allows our bodies more time to digest before bed and improves the quality of our sleep.
2) Aim for at least twenty minutes of exercise a day. Moving our bods releases endorphins which act as a natural antidepressant.
3) Take time to turn inward or get creative with nourishing activities such as reading, writing, meditation, etc.
4) Eat a seasonally conscious diet filled with colorful foods and locally sourced produce.
5) Supplement your diet with omega 3 fatty acids, a natural mood stabilizer.
6) Get sunlight! Lack of sunlight can cause us to feel depressed and because of the cooler weather and shorter days most of us spend less and less time outside.Whether you spend your days at home or in an office, aim for 10-15 minutes of sunlight a day. Spend your lunch break outside, keep your window shades up during the day to let the sun shine in, and even consider changing your light bulbs to “full spectrum bulbs” which mimic natural light.
7) Socialize! The winter months often feel the most isolating. The extra effort required to leave the house in snow and ice lead us to decline invitations to socialize with friends. Ironically, this is the time of year we most need to feel connected to our communities. Pick an evening or two a week and schedule a phone call with a best friend, a dinner out, or even a walk with a neighbor.
7) Sleep! In the summer months we eat lighter, are more physically active, and don’t require as much energy to fuel our bodies. In the winter, the opposite is true and naturally we need more sleep to keep up with our bodies needs. Aim for 7-8 hours a night.
8) Embrace the season! Even though the prospect of a long winter ahead can appear gloomy, try to take advantage of the offerings of the season by picking up a winter sport, preparing delicious meals based on seasonal foods, and doing your best to harmonize your life with nature, and remember; spring always comes!