This is the time of year, more specifically the week of the year, that everyone dreads, day light savings time. Pumpkin Season, aka Fall, is one of my favorite seasons aside from Christmas Season, aka early winter. This week in particular is difficult. God decided to put the lights of summer on a dimmer switch. When you go to sleep, darkness. When you wake up, darkness. The days are getting shorter and shorter and the nights longer and colder. It gets confusing! Last night I curled up with a cup of cocoa before bed and realized it was only 5:30 PM! I was ready for bed at 5:30!!
This weekend we will have a little reprieve with daylight savings time bringing more sunlight to the morning but the nightime will only get darker earlier. Most of us, myself included, have a rough time with the darkness. Call it ‘seasonal affected disorder”(aka SAD…that’s serious it’s named SAD) or just a case of the fall blues, everyone goes through a funk this time of year so I decided to do some research to see if I could help.
Tip #1: Go to the Bahamas until March.
Only kidding, unless someone else is buying the tickets. In that case I’ll meet you at the airport.
According to the Mayo clinic SAD is caused by a disruption in the circadian rhythm, seratonin levels and melatonin levels. Your circadian rhythm is your internal clock and it regulates your body’s sleep schedule. When you wake up thinking its 3:00am but it’s really 6:15am, your circadian rhythm gets confused. Seratonin is a neurotransmitter that is attributed to feelings of happiness and wellness and is directly related to sunlight. Melatonin is a chemical in the body that regulates sleep patterns and rhythm. Sleep is integral to fighting off seasonal depression.
So what can we do? Well, that’s up to you. There are Doctors, supplements, meditations etc but here’s what I would do:
1. Turn the lights on, open the shades. Lights are a big part of my mood and in the winter my happiness takes precedent over my electric bill.
2. Go outside for a walk or find a way to stand near a window. Don’t be a creeper in a window but maybe on your lunch break you can step outside for some Vitamin D.
3. Take a trip. Even if it’s not to the bahamas sometimes you just need to get out of your everyday routine.
4. Focus on the positives. Someone once told me to spend 3 minutes at night writing down 10 positive things in my life or what I’m grateful for that day. Sounds small but it helps put a funk in persepctive.
5. Be social. Friends are a great way to boost your mood and if they bring you down ditch them and go out and find new friends.
Obviously there are multiple ways to get through the season but hopefully these tips help a little.
Go enjoy your Pumpkin Spiced Latte with a side of pumpkin scone topped with pumpkin caramel.
Tis the season,