#1: Increase Light Exposure
As the days get shorter, this leaves less time at the end of the day to get outside and get some sunlight, which can reduce energy and impact your mood, especially if you're prone to developing Seasonal Affective Disorder. If possible, try to head outside midday to get 10-15 minutes of sunlight. If you tend to walk in the evening, try to switch things up to a morning walk so you get more daylight exposure. Getting this light exposure can help with energy levels, and can also be helpful for managing insomnia at night as your circadian rhythm resets itself.
If you're not able to get enough daylight exposure or you feel that your mood and energy levels are really impacted by a lack of light, consider getting a little extra help. A light therapy lamp can be helpful for resetting your circadian rhythm and boosting mood. If you have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, be sure to check with your doctor before using a light therapy lamp for specific guidelines for the best time to use light therapy.
If you're having trouble waking up in the morning due to a lack of light, a sunrise simulation alarm clock can help you wake up more gradually so you feel less drowsy.
#2: Up Your Self-Care
If you're dealing with insomnia due to the time change, this lack of sleep can make you feel irritable or more anxious, which means that this is a super important time to add a little extra self-care into your life. Slowing down and concentrating on mindful activities is a great idea for this time. Plan a self-care Sunday spa day, or enjoy a movie or Netflix evening. Incorporating mindfulness activities like meditation or colouring is great, too.
Though it may feel like the last thing you want to do, exercise is a great way to boost feel-good neurotransmitters in the brain, which can help in managing any depression symptoms you might be dealing with. It's also great for helping to burn off extra anxiety, and exercising earlier in the day can help you sleep at night. Taking a walk, dancing to some feel-good music, or practicing yoga are all good places to start.