On Nov. 1, we turn back the clocks to return to standard time. The good news is that we are going to get an extra hour of sleep on Sunday, but the darkness can trigger psychological issues, according to the experts at Business Talent Solutions.
Start preparing yourself for the time change now. Start altering your sleep schedule by going to bed a little later during the week prior to the time change. Keep to your regular routine as much as possible and try not to take naps, as this can make it more difficult for your body to adjust.
However, the darker days to come can trigger Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, in about 5% of Americans. SAD is a type of depression that seems to come and go with the seasons, according to CNN. While many people get depressed during bleak winter months, coping with COVID-19 stress and the restrictions the disease places on our daily activities can increase the incidence of anxiety, experts tell CNBC.
A board-certified psychologist, Jeff Gardere, also known as Dr. Jeff, tells CNBC that being prepared can help stave off the blues.
- Wake up at a normal time, advises Gardere, who is also an associate professor at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine in New York City. Stick to regular waking and sleep routines even if you work from home and it is dismal outside.
- Let there be light. Turn on the lights, said Gardere. Lack of natural light is one of the triggers for SAD. The expert says that artificial light works just as well as natural light to boost your mood.
- Get outside. Even when the weather is nippy, continue to socialize outdoors. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the risk of contracting COVID-19 is greater indoors, especially over a prolonged period of time. “Get excited about your winter gear,” said Gardere, according to CNBC.
- Exercise. While Gardere personally uses an indoor bike to work out, talking a brisk power-walk with a friend can release “happy hormones” such as dopamine and serotonin that help your mood and focus.
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