For a very (and I mean very) brief moment, I was ecstatic about falling back an hour for daylight savings. We had just invited our new puppy into the family and the idea of getting an extra hour of sleep seemed almost too luxurious. As I basked in the nearly 7 hours I got thanks to Benjamin Franklin’s nifty little invention, I found myself wondering why I had condemned daylight savings every fall for the better part of my entire life.
…then I remembered.
Once the extra hour of sleep bliss wore off and I was welcomed with a pitch black sky the following morning, it hit me – this SUCKS. Then, a mere 10 hours later, it was dark before dinnertime. SUPER SUCK.
If, like me, you absolutely dread the seasonal depression and general gloominess that kicks in during the months leading up to the solstice, you know what I’m talking about. That’s why I’ve decided to share some of my favorite tricks to combat this truly dark time so we can all (maybe) survive the darker days with a smile.
Tip #1: Invest in an Ott Light
This was easily the best $40 I’ve ever spent. Many years ago when my family lived way up north in Vermont where winter lasts from roughly September thru May, my mom had an ott light. I have fond memories of her sitting with it at her chair in our living room, but somehow it never occurred for me to get one of my own. Until now.
My fiancé Joel will be the first to tell you that I suffer from some very aggressive seasonal depression. I’m very much an outside gal and the thought of being cooped up for months on end without the sunshine kissing my cheeks is enough to send me spiraling into madness. That’s why my little 15-minute sessions with my Happy Light are so amazing. Every evening, no matter what, I sit in front of this bright little box and legitimately feel happier. I swear, it’s not a hoax.
This is the one that I have, but there are all sorts of different sizes online. Just search “uv light therapy!”
Tip #2: Enjoy the Sunshine While You Can
Look, the days are shorter and that means less sunshine. So get out there and enjoy it while you can. If that means taking a walk on your lunch break or treating yourself to a leisurely jog after work as the sun sets, trust me – your body will thank you!
Tip #3: Create a Morning (or Evening) Ritual
This is one that I just started myself and I gotta say, it helps. Every morning or evening once the sun goes down, create a little self care ritual that you adhere to each and every day. Maybe it’s a 30-minute yoga practice or an hour of your favorite TV show with a face mask. Maybe you paint your nails or craft. Whatever it is, make it sacred. Stick to this plan and in a couple of weeks you’ll actually start looking forward to the darker hours instead of dreading them!
Tip #4: Meditate for the Season
The fall and winter are a magical time both spiritually and astrologically for a lot of us. It usually signals an end to the last year and the birth of a new one, both of which are incredibly powerful. So, instead of spending the next few months cursing Father Time, try meditating for this special time of year. Perhaps you sit and meditate on the things that brought you joy this year; maybe you meditate about the ways you’ve grown and the intentions you’d like to set for the following year. Use this quiet, peaceful time to go inward so you can be re-born with the flowers in the spring!
What are your favorite tricks to beat the winter blues? Let me know in the comments and spread the love!
The Yogi Lawyer