5 Ways to Beat the Darkness

With the shortest days of the year upon us, it’s tempting to curl up on the couch (or under the duvet) and hibernate until the early signs of spring begin to appear. But just because the warmer weather and long summer days feel like an eternity ago, doesn’t mean we should check out from the outside world entirely.

Here are 5 tips to beat the darkness of short winter days!

#1. Don’t Sleep In!
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Yes, you heard right. According to an article by ABC News, it might not be the best choice for your body to utilize that extra hour of sleep when daylight savings ends. Everyone’s body has a 24 hour sleep-wake cycle. This cycle is started and re-started by a signal: sunlight. When our sleep-wake and light-dark cycles don’t line up (ie/ sleeping past sunrise), we end up feeling tired, grumpy, and out of sync – either the next day or later on in the week.

#2. Stay Hydrated!
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You’ve probably heard it before: our bodies are made of 60% water. But did you know that dehydration is directly related to fatigue? Studies have shown that even a mild drop in hydration (1 to 2%) is enough to impair thinking. So, if we want to get the most out of this winter and not get slowed down by the sluggish-ness of daylight savings, it’s important that we are staying hydrated.

Fun fact: there are lots of fruits and veggies (like watermelon, lettuce, broccoli, and more!) that are excellent sources of water. Check out the a full list here!

#3. Be Active!
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The weather’s getting colder and the days are getting shorter… not exactly the best situation for going on a run after work. However, joining a spin class, a women’s sports league, or hitting up your local gym are great ways to stay active indoors post-daylight savings. Research shows that even a small amount of physical activity boosts brain function, leaving you more happy and relaxed.

On a budget? Thank you, YouTube! There are tons of quick at-home workout videos and/or articles you can find online to help keep your body moving this Winter!

#4. Keep Busy!
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It’s so easy to curl up in a nice blanket and turn on Netflix after a long day at work… and it’s especially easy to do those things when it’s so cold outside! Now, let’s get one thing clear: we are ALL FOR treatin’ yo self. But popcorn and movies every night? Maybe not the best choice. One of the best ways to beat the daylight savings darkness is to surround yourself with the things and people you love. Find a new passion for puzzles, plan the GNO (girls night out) you’ve been putting off about for months… whatever you choose, don’t let the cold stop you from having fun.

#5. Monitor Yourself!
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The winter blues… shorter days and darker months don’t necessarily bring out the cheeriest moods. And that’s okay – you’re not abnormal for feeling that way. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a real thing. That’s why it’s important to monitor yourself and check in with how you’re feeling. You can’t beat something that you aren’t even aware of. So, be kind to yourself. Check in with those you love or your doctor if you need assistance and, most importantly, know you’re not alone.

With winter comes less daylight and lower levels of natural Vitamin D. Click here for easy ways to increase your vitamin D intake.

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