“I hate Daylight Saving Time.”
I mean, does anyone really like Daylight Saving Time? I know there are a few out there but the vast majority of people aren’t fans.
DST aside – and for those of you in Arizona – this time of year is tough because there’s just naturally less daylight. That Vitamin D really does do the body and mind good.
We have two choices: We can complain about something we can’t control. Or we can shift our mindset to what we can control. And that’s ourselves.
There are a few simple things everyone can do to up energy as daylight dwindles. There are ways to keep your mind and body healthy and positive with a bit of effort.
Here are five ways I’ve found that help with keeping energy, happiness, and positivity high when daylight can have us feeling low.
1. Eat Breakfast
It’s called the most important meal of the day for a reason and there’s a lot of truth in that age-old statement. Starting the day with a good breakfast is important to set the tone for a healthy body and mind.
Why is skipping breakfast bad? Everyone is different and some swear by it but, for most, the absence of food is a sure fire way to feel sluggish and lacking energy. Food itself is energy – it’s meant to fuel the body and mind to do whatever the day brings.
Not all breakfast is created equal. The right foods are key to keeping energy levels high, especially during these days when it’s often still dark when we head out for the day. Quality carbs and protein are great choices so, for breakfast, this could be a Greek yogurt, oatmeal with banana, or whole grain toast with peanut butter.
Although it sounds counter-intuitive, lack of energy is often remedied by exercise – and lack of exercise often leads to low energy. From low-impact activities like walking and yoga to more intense workouts like HIIT and running, any form of exercise does wonders for energy, positivity, and overall wellness.
Whether an early morning workout to set the tone for the day, the benefits of a midday workout (oh, I love a good runch!), or an evening workout to get through the last parts of the day with a happier outlook, the best time to exercise is whenever it best fits into your day.
3. Drink Water
No matter the problem, water is usually an answer. Whether sluggish or cranky, sick or feeling low, water can make us feel better in many different ways.
It’s proven to boost energy levels, crucial when dwindling daylight tends to zap all we have before the day is even close to done. It can boost metabolism, also beneficial when fatigue and sluggishness can lead to skipped workouts and poor food choices.
There are also scientific health benefits of drinking water like improved brain function and a happy colon and kidneys, all of which can lead to better moods and more energy.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it forever – there’s really no downside to drinking a lot of water. It’s free and easy and good for you – so do it. Bonus: here are three easy ways to drink more water.
4. Get Outside
There are Vitamin D supplements and light boxes and probably a zillion other things designed to replace lacking sunlight. But there’s no substitute for actually going outside.
Even if it’s not sunny, the simple act of getting out and taking in a few moments of fresh air and nature are enough to put a little pep back in anyone’s step.
This time of year, it’s easy to hunker down and hibernate. Instead, layer up (if needed) and make the effort to get out a few times during the day.
5. Make Time for Mindfulness
Even though fatigue is almost always felt physically, don’t discount the mental fatigue that can weigh you down, especially this time of year. When the mind is cluttered and unfocused, feelings of stress, unhappiness, and exhaustion are often close behind.
Make time, multiple times during the day, to be more mindful. Take a moment to refocus your thoughts and be present. How can we be more mindful every day? It takes work and practice. There are plenty of simple ways to be mindful – and a few tactics that detract from it.
Don’t multitask. Don’t check your phone and email constantly. Don’t overschedule yourself to the point you leave no time to think or be creative.
Do take a brief pause every so often to check in with yourself. Do give yourself a few seconds here and there throughout the day to just be. Do take advantage of downtime, like waiting in line or rebooting your computer, to notice your breath, be calm, and get perspective.
Those are just five simple ways to deal with Daylight Saving Time and dwindling daylight.
What do you do to deal with the lower energy and sluggishness that often accompanies this time of year? Any of these tips or do you have others to share? The comments are for you so please leave one.