How to Feel Your Best When the Clocks Change

Feel Better When The Clocks Change

3-minute read about feeling healthy and happy during fall and the end of daylight saving time.

Have you looked out the window lately and said to yourself, "I can't believe it's only 5 p.m. It's so dark?" all the while your heart sinks thinking about how long winter is?

We completely understand that challenge, and our mission at Verilux is to help people feel like their best vibrant & joyful selves all year long. For that reason, this week we're sharing simple ways to defeat darkness during the end of daylight saving time. So grab a hot cup of tea, light your favorite candle, and prepare to keep shining all fall and winter long. 

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Learn more about how HappyLight therapy lamps can help too!

Turn on an energizing HappyLight® in the morning when you wake up

One of the reasons why we can feel so lethargic during fall and winter is because the sun's intensity and presence lessen as its path in the sky lowers. Instead of shining directly down on us for many hours a day, the sun glides by on the horizon for just a few. By turning on your HappyLight® in the morning as you get ready for the day or while you eat breakfast, you trick your body into thinking it's a brighter, sunnier day than it actually is. Your serotonin production goes up as a result, followed by your mood and energy levels.

Map of how many hours of sunlight we lose from June 21 to Dec 21

Go for a walk at lunchtime

Although the temperatures get colder in the fall and winter, it is essential to get outside even when every part of your body is screaming to stay inside in more comfortable temps. Getting outside for 15-30 minutes a day (particularly, on days when the sun is shining) has positive effects on your mood that will stay with you long after you head back indoors.

Use your HappyLight® as a healthy alternative to caffeine

One of the most frustrating parts of darker days is that we can often feel like no matter what we do, we just can't get that pick-me-up that we need. It's tempting to down more coffee or even energy drinks, but both of those can make us feel more wired and frazzled than we want.

HappyLight® used in the morning can defeat morning sluggishness and also when used in the afternoon, can defeat the afternoon slump. A 10-15 minute afternoon dose of bright light provides a similar energizing pick-me-up as a second cup of coffee but it's healthier and more nurturing for your body. 

Accept social invites - even if you're tempted to lay low

Women friends at dinner

It can be very tempting to stay at home and lay low until spring when the days are dark and the winter blues set in. Some days, you may even find yourself envying bears who get to hibernate for six months out of the year. But resist the urge to hibernate. Make a commitment to do a certain number of social activities a week to prevent isolating yourself. Staying social helps to avoid a downward spiral that can easily happen during the heart of winter.

Be kind to yourself during the darker days

Often times it's easy to wonder what's wrong with us when we start feeling down. It can feel like a dip in mood and energy is our fault for not eating healthy enough, not exercising enough, or not being positive enough. But know that winter blues caused by light deprivation is a real thing. At least 20% of the U.S. population experiences some degree of winter blues symptoms - which means you are definitely not alone. Always remember to be kind to and patient with yourself when you have an off day or week. Being gentle with yourself will help you have a happy and healthy fall and winter. 

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