It’s that time of year when the days seem to noticeably get shorter every few days. If you’re like me, you’re already missing the long daylight hours of summer. In just a few short weeks the time change will make the change even harder to ignore. This year why not try something different? Resist the urge to crawl into bed right after dinner and try these shorter-days blues busters.
5 Ways you can conquer the shorter-day blues:
1. Make your mornings brighter with a light timer
Have you noticed how much more challenging it is to crawl out of bed when it’s still dark out? Beat the morning darkness by setting a timer on a light in your room. Many people use timers when they’re away from home on vacation. Why not put one to use to brighten your mornings? I’ve set mine to turn on when my alarm goes off each morning. If you’re a mom, why not make waking your kids easier by using a light timer in their rooms on school days? Of course, be considerate of your spouse with what time and how bright you make your room.
2. Embrace a new hobby
Is there something you’d love to learn and would look forward to working on? Or, maybe you have a hobby that you didn’t have time for in the busy summer. Plan to invest time enjoying or mastering a hobby on fall and winter evenings. Maybe you want to spend time with a craft or learn a new language. I just found a fun book to learn lettering and calligraphy that I hope to master this winter.
3. Try using a “happy” lamp
Just 20-30 minutes in front of a “therapy” or “happy” light can help offset the impact of shorter days. Light boxes are often used to help individuals cope with seasonal affective disorder and can be effective in mimicking daylight. Last winter was the first I tried one after a family member decided to give it a try. If you find yourself more sluggish with the shorter days, it might offer just the boost you’re looking for.
4. Reschedule your time
If dark evenings are a challenge, try purposefully scheduling activities during the time you find the most difficult. Last winter I picked to go to the gym at 7pm because I knew it was my sluggish time of day. Adapt your schedule and consider rescheduling activities purposefully to the challenging evening hours. Why not consider shifting your grocery shopping to 7pm instead of Saturday morning? Or, meet a friend for dessert, call and chat with a friend or find other ways to schedule evenings empowering you to resist the urge to shift into power saver mode.
5. Be determined and get creative
Change won’t happen without intent. Be determined to not let shorter days get the best of you. Be conscious of your energy levels and you find yourself beginning to hibernate. The options are endless for how you can re-frame your time and use it to your benefit. And, if you find yourself struggling with the winter blues, reach out to a friend or counselor to come up with a strategy that works for you.
It’s your turn:
Last fall and winter I was amazed how these little things added up to a significant impact to my mood and attitude all winter long. Why not make a few adjustments and resist the blues that try to creep in with the shorter days.
What do you do to keep your spirits up during this time of year? Will you try any of these ideas? I’d love to hear from you, click to comment. And, why not click to share with your friends so that they enjoy the season a bit more this year too?
Until next time… be blessed!
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Good suggestions, Susan. I actually like the darker mornings/evenings. I tend to sleep better. Life is quieter. I get more writing done. But it does take some adjustment. I like the idea of using lights, timer and “happy light.” Thanks!
Peggi, Thank you! I agree – the quieter, darker days can make it easier to get writing done. I’ve been sharing the light timer with friends and finding many have them but never have used them for this. I’m loving having my room a bit lighter when I need to get up! – best, Susan
This is a very real issue in Northern Wisconsin! I have found that B vitamins really make a difference! Also making sure I eat well and get some exercise. Of course decorating for Christmas earlier and earlier each year helps too!! lol. Gotta love those lights on dark cloudy days!
Kathi, I agree all the way around – vitamin B, self care and Christmas lights. Great ideas. Thanks for sharing! Blessings, Susan