It’s almost time to wind back the clock. The second installment of daylight savings will occur Saturday, November 2nd. Gaining an hour has a lot of perks. It’s an extra hour to be productive and get housework done. Some use it as an extra hour for relaxation and sleep. While an hour isn’t necessarily a large amount of time (relatively speaking), those 60 minutes can mess with both your physical and mental health. Here are a few ways you can take care of yourself during daylight savings.
Keep to Your Bedtime Routine
You’re going to be tempted to procrastinate starting your bedtime routine. Remember, the reason most people have a bedtime routine is that it’s a way of prepping both the mind and physical body for sleep. This time of relaxation is even more crucial now as we begin to adjust to these new daylight hours.
If you don’t have a bedtime routine, consider the following:
- Drinking a cup of tea
- Reading a book
- Brushing your teeth
- Washing your face
- Listen to a meditation or relaxing podcast
- Do a bedtime yoga practice
Adjust to the Time Change Gradually
Not everyone adapts to the time change easily. If you know you fall into that category, consider adjusting gradually to daylight savings. Move the start of your bedtime routine by 15 or so minutes over the course of a few days before the time change begins. If nighttime isn’t your jam, you could also do the same with waking up. These small, incremental time changes are a great way of adjusting your body to this new timeframe without initial shock.
Let the Season Inspire Your Nutrition
While we should aim to get balanced nutrition all the time, it’s extra crucial during daylight savings. As we enter the season of low energy and less sun, it can feel hard to be productive and inspired (especially when you aren’t fueling yourself properly on the inside). Fall and winter are great for squashes, gourds, pumpkin, and other delicious root vegetables. If you have time, consider prepping big pots of vegetable-filled soups and whole-grain dishes. Make small, easy swaps to keep heartier, “soul comforting” dishes a bit healthier.
Try recipes like:
Get Outside When You Can
When the sun goes away, our vitamin D levels also decline. And when that happens, our risk for seasonal depression increases. Do your best to get up with the sun and get outside and bask in it when you can. Just ten minutes a day can be enough! But if your life doesn’t allow you to get outside in the sun, there are alternatives. Increase your consumption of vitamin D foods (like fish, orange juice, and dairy products). If you have dietary restrictions, you can also try vitamin D supplements.
CPA and Changing Seasons
This new season might be a tough one for you. We know you need a toolbox full of skills in order to cope with the challenges life throws at us. At CPA, we will always encourage patients to explore coping mechanisms that work best for them. However, we also know that a number of those skills come from counseling and different methods of therapy. Cristina Panaccione and Associates has one location in the South Hills and one in Robinson. We are currently accepting a limited number of new patients, so check out our videos to learn more about how we can help teach you the skills to fight seasonal changes!
* This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please contact a medical professional for advice.
Marissa Betancourt – LPC, CAADC
Marissa has a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology. After her studies at Chatham University, she became a Certified Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor as well as a Licensed Professional Counselor. She has approximately 5 years of experience working with the dually diagnosed population. She works with people who experience depression, anxiety, mood disorders, personality disorders, and substance use. She uses a mix of motivational interviewing, behavioral therapy, CBT, psycho-education and gestalt therapy to assist her clients with working towards their goals. She is transparent and assertive in the counseling process, helping clients gain insight into past and current behavior. She looks forward to helping you understand your symptoms and working through them at your own pace!