It’s that time of year again, folks – as the nights draw in, like an early Christmas present, we get an extra glorious hour in bed. Remember that hours’ sleep we lost back in March? When the clocks go back at 2am this Sunday morning, it will finally be time to reclaim it. But how can you make best use of your EXTRA hour? *
(*unless you have small children, who when they wake up at their usual time of 6.30am, it will actually be 5.30am, so basically you’re screwed. Sorry.)
SO…..The commute to work is dark. The trip home, also dark. As it gets colder and everyone around you is coughing and sneezing – how can you stay productive and positive during the long, dark days? Well, like a tiny beacon shining in the darkness, here are a few FUEL10K tips just for you….
Take it Easy…..(at first)
Abrupt shifts in clock time mean our internal biological clock also needs to re-synchronise, and this doesn’t happen straight away. It can usually take up to three days for our brains and bodies to adjust to the 1 hour shift, which can alter the quality of our sleep, leaving some of us feeling more tired during the day. So, be gentle with yourself and maybe try getting to bed a bit earlier next week. And then you can…..
Make the Most of your Morning
Since you’ve got less daylight in the evening hours, the most obvious way to make the most of your day is to start it earlier. The morning boost that you get from your early morning workouts could be just the thing you need to keep you going when the sun goes down (waaaaaay too early). Being consistent with morning workouts or walks is a good goal to have during Daylight Savings Time. You’ll definitely feel more energised and boost your serotonin levels for the day ahead.
Let There be Light!
Once you’ve made it out of bed, open the curtains or blinds to let in as much natural light as possible. If you have the option, step outside and breathe in some fresh air while soaking up the sunlight. The light will help to stimulate your brain, releasing neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine which lift your mood. If you have to be up before sunrise try waking up with a light emitting alarm clock. These clocks mimic a sunrise to gently wake you up ‘naturally’ with light. Alternatively, you could purchase a SAD light. The theory behind these is that they effectively replicate sunshine, as a result, they give the user a positive response when they’re lacking sunshine.
Take Up a Hobby
One thing that can really get you down during the dark winter months is feeling like you have nothing to look forward to. Summer is filled with outdoor after work plans and holidays. But come autumn/winter time you can feel less motivated. Find what excites you and find what lights you up with passion and work towards that dream. Whether it’s finally starting a blog, trying that new class or taking up a sport, you’re going to be spending most of your time inside thanks to this weather – so you might as well spend it doing something you like!
Avoid refined sugary foods and ensure that you drink plenty of water. Food can affect your mood and energy levels, so it’s important to provide your body with the fuel that it needs to keep you going. Whether you add a couple of bits of fruit a day to your Porridge Pots or just drink an extra glass of water each day, it’s important to eat healthy – especially during the months where ‘comfort’ food seems like the best option.
Finally, do make sure that you set all your clocks to the right time first thing on Sunday morning. Unless you want to arrive in the office an hour early on Monday and look SUPER keen!