Change with the seasons

The time changes this Saturday and quite noticeably, the weather has changed as well. Seasonal change can be a great thing for some, but can have a greater impact on others. Not only is the weather cooling down, but the shorter days can mean less time to be active outdoors.

Here are some ideas to help you stay healthy and happy:

Time Change:

Every year, twice a year, we do the whole “spring ahead and fall back” thing. This can impart a major disruption to our personal sleep patterns. The change can leave a big or small impact, but mostly it just means some minor issues falling asleep or waking up, and drowsiness.

Solution: Plan for it! For a few days before the time changes, pre-emptively adjust your schedule by waking up a bit earlier. Have a morning walk and eat, or enjoy whatever your normal morning behaviours are to get your body ready for it as you slowly adjust to what the formal change will be. For those of you with kids, prepare for monsters. Kids can be more sensitive and need extra prep for the change.

For some people, the fall back/ spring ahead change of the clock has little to no impact on their lives. For others though, it can really mess with the natural rhythms of our bodies.

Routine:

Summer is the time of freedom, travel, fun and long nights. One of the benefits of shorter days and colder weather is that it’s easier to stick to a routine. Routines are great for mental and physical health and many of us thrive in a routine-driven environment.

How to make routine your friend:

Meal prep, regular gym visits (come see us!), weekly hikes (with a back-up plan for movement even on rainy days) and sleep. Make a routine and give yourself a pat on the back when you stick to it. Build things into your week that bring you joy no matter how cruddy it is. For example, if Sunday mornings tend to be slow for you, plan a weekly coffee date with a friend. These little pick-me-ups give you something to look forward to.

Change of season and sunlight:

The lack of daylight has a real, measurable impact and on some more than others. It’s hard to get up in the mornings, we’re more inclined to go to bed early, and the cooler weather makes you want to be inside more. Some people experience Seasonal Affective Disorder, which is a form of depression that comes and goes depending on the season. You can read more here about the signs and symptoms of SAD and how to get assistance.

If however, you are experiencing a minor change in mood, here are some suggestions:

Light therapy: Light lamps are available for purchase and help provide light to offset the lack of natural night. These lights are available through the Halifax libraries.

Activity: Great for your body, mood, and sleep!

Go outside: pretend you are a plant, and when there is sun, lean into it! Even a short lunch hour walk in natural light will have an additive impact on the amount of light exposure you receive.