As we begin to transition into darker days, reduction of sunlight can change our mental health A LOT. Did you know that 6% of the U.S population suffers from seasonal affective disorder every year? During these next months, it can be easy just to stay under the blankets all day and watch Abbott Elementary, and, ok, we can do that sometimes, but we need to have a bit of a balance, especially if we’re more susceptible to experiencing depressive symptoms. Here are just some ways to help you stay productive for the rest of the year.
- Schedule time outside: Before the temperature drops too low, cozy up and eat your lunch outside or take a midday walk when it’s still light out. This whole vitamin D thing is not a trend – 42% of Americans have a deficiency in Vitamin D. Plus, this time outside can clear your mind so you can return to your workspace and get more done.
- Make the most of your morning: When it’s darker out, it’s even more tempting to hit snooze. Try lightening up your early AM wakeup with a gradual light alarm clock like the Hatch Restore. It progressively brightens the room, mimicking a peaceful sunrise (and you can pair it with soothing sounds for an even calmer rousal).
- Stay away from blue light: The blue light on computers and phones can prevent the production of melatonin which is needed for you to sleep. Yes, being on your phone and computer in the dark counts! Set a timer for when you’ll put your phone away and keep it from your bed so you’re not lured into your TikTok feed. Have a late night? Grab a cute pair of blue light glasses so you can get your work done without affecting your sleep cycle as much.
- Stick to routines: Whether it’s taking a walk or doing a skin care routine twice a day, keep going! Participate in what you need to do to get you to stay productive and out of a funk. Adjust the routines that you had in the warmer months if you need to (i.e. if you like your outdoor workouts, keep doing them! Just be mindful of what needs to change, like your wardrobe or the time of day you may do it!). If you need help staying on track or getting into your routine, put a reminder on your phone to finish what you want to do. This will help not only your body but your mind as well.
- Refresh your to-do list: Do you feel overwhelmed when looking at your to-do list everyday? It’s time to delete some lines and create new ones. Keep your productivity going by focusing on what is relevant right now. This will also help you keep yourself accountable for those times you just want to take a long bath and turn off all your devices.
- Embrace the coziness: Finishing up your workday while the sun is already set might put you in a negative mindset or make you feel sluggish. Take this time to reward yourself with a fresh cup of warm tea and put on a post-work comfy outfit. Pro tip: If you’re not ready to completely wind down (i.e. spending time with your partner or engaging in your favorite hobby), don’t slip into pjs just yet! Keep sleepwear for bedtime!
- Be patient with yourself: This is always an important reminder when we’re going through a lot of changes. It can be hard to keep up when the weather outside is not matching how we want to feel. yourself space to practice patience, self-compassion, and mindfulness Doing so, will help with your productivity more than you think.
Comment below with which one you’ll try to help you this autumn/winter season!