Does Daylight saving affect your mood?
It’s that time of year where I totally dread the clocks changing. I find getting up in the morning is hard enough, let alone in the pitch dark.
My energy levels take a massive tank and my body is screaming for bed by four o’clock in the afternoon,
I get more introverted, my diet changes to more warming foods, like soups and pasta, lots of pasta and generally I loose that pep in my step.
I know, it sounds doom and gloom but I generally struggle at this time of year. I have had to work really hard to find ways to stay social, upbeat, and positive.
Our bodies circadian rhythm (our internal clock) is affected by exposure to sunlight. A message is sent to our brain when light enters our eyes, that it is time to wake up. When it is dark outside a hormone is released called melatonin which signals to us that it is time to sleep.
The shorter days and the lack of sunlight can disrupt our internal body clock and lead to symptoms of seasonal depression.
Here are all the ways that help me navigate through fall and winter:
- Keep my curtains open so I am exposed to the light
- Make sure I get up at the same time every morning
- Expose myself to as much daylight as possible during the day
- Go for walks in nature and embrace the seasonal change
- Keep a grateful journal
- Cold water exposure
- Be gentle with yourself
- Be social at home or in the day time
- Drink I AM RESILIENT as it has high doses of vitamin D, keeps my immune system strong, uplifts me and warms me up inside
- Drink I AM FOCUSED daily, to help me concentrate and give me energy
- Use a SAD lamp, for additional light therapy.
- Have an exciting bright coloured wardrobe, I have a collection of really bright jumpers that cheer me up.
- Celebrate all the festivals to have something to look forward to and mark each month:
October - Halloween
November - Guy Fawkes night
December - Marking the winter solstice is a really important one to me. Winter solstice is the symbolic death and rebirth of the Sun; the gradual waning of daylight hours is reversed and begins to grow again.
And of course Christmas
Jan - New Years ( and kids going back to school) :)
February - Valentines day…Celebrate the love
March/ April - All the bank holidays and Easter.
Before you know it, it’s almost Spring.
I really hope you find something useful in this Journal. I have had to work really hard to take care of myself during October- April, let’s get through it together.
My sister Nadia Narain and I wrote a book together called rituals for everyday and we have a lovely ritual for this time of year.
This is a ritual for dark winter mornings, before the sun has risen. Rather than switching on electric lights as soon as you wake up, maintain the winter darkness for a little longer and reach for some candles instead.
Spend the first twenty minutes of your day in the warm glow of candlelight. You can sit quietly or make a cup of tea, or just potter around the house. Feel how the candlelight allows you to transition slowly into your day.
We so often race from moment to moment, forgetting that transitions also deserve our attention and respect. Taking time to honour this space between waking and the ever-present-to-do list will set the tone for how you tackle the day ahead.
You might think this ritual is hard to practice if you live with other people, but you can wake up ahead of your children and family, to have this quiet candlelight time to yourself.
As soon as the kids are up the lights come on and your busy routine takes over, but you have had a moment to yourself, and started the day peacefully