I know most of us are looking toward this coming weekend with a little bit of dread. The evenings will be dark early and the days are already short. No matter how much we want to hang on to those long warm days, the season is changing.
Not only does this lead to some sadness for another summer gone, but some of us suffer some unwanted symptoms when the weather gets colder and the days get dark. Some things you might notice are fatigue, oversleeping, lethargy, mood changes, depression, anxiety, sleep disturbance, and food cravings.
The good news is there is something we can do about it!
Below are a few tips on dealing with the time change and with the season change. Aside from these tips, I also like to remind people that there is no better time of year to put on your most comfy sweatpants, take out your softest blanket, and enjoy a little extra cozy time with loved ones.
What you can do about adjusting to the changing seasons:
Get Moving! Try to get at least 15-30 mins of activity daily. Getting the blood flowing and heart rate up releases the "feel good" response.
Eat Mindfully! Be conscious of what you are putting into your body. A diet full of processed foods can actually increase lethargy and mood swings.
Focus on sunshine! Open up the blinds or take daily walks to increase the secretion of serotonin.
Vitamin D! When the winter months are finally here, it may be necessary to supplement Vitamin D with a quality supplement.
Take some time for yourself! Engage in a hobby, enjoy some time to relax, and focus on good sleep.
What you can do to help adjust to the time change:
Try to limit your caffeine intake. Instead, grab the water. Staying hydrated helps to boost your mood, fight off fatigue, and curb cravings.
Get moving! Movement is a great way to boost energy, release endorphins, and boost mood.
Take a nap! Naps are beneficial for mental clarity, healing, and boosting your mood. Limit the nap to around 20 minutes for the most refreshing effect.
Get outside! With the darker evening hours, it's important to get outside during the day to get some sunlight.
Keep a consistent bedtime. Even though the evenings are darker earlier, it's important to keep a consistent bedtime. This will help you maintain your circadian rhythm allowing you to get quality sleep.
Note: If you are someone who suffers from depression and/or anxiety, please do not hesitate to reach out, whether for a chat or a referral to a mental health provider. Winters can be hard and we continue to live in a world of uncertainty. Treat your mind like you treat your body. If it's not feeling well, get some help!