It’s happening again! The days are getting shorter, and the nights are getting longer. If you had the Daylight Savings time change on November 7th, suddenly it feels like it’s dark all the time! The shorter days and longer nights can feel a bit depressing, especially if rain or snow is coming. Here are four things you can do to help improve your emotional health that the darker days of Fall Daylight Savings time can bring.

Make Your World Brighter to Improve Your Emotional Health  

An easy fix is changing lighting. Maybe, changing out a few of your light bulbs might be enough to get you through the winter. Pick high-activity areas like the kitchen, bathroom, and office.

Have you noticed you can get two different types of lights; full-spectrum or daylight LED bulbs? Are full-spectrum and daylight LED bulbs the same thing? Nope, they are two different types of lighting.

Full-spectrum bulbs represent the entire visible spectrum of light and are considered the same as the sun. The bulbs are measured by CRI (color rendering index) that goes from 0-100. Look for bulbs rated 90 are greater. 

Daylight bulbs refer to the color of the lighting or color temperature. These bulbs are measured in Kelvins. The warmer lights are 2,700-3,000K. While cooler lights, referred to as daylight, are 5,000-6,500K. 

The better option when dealing with the dark day doldrums are full-spectrum lights. Even though full-spectrum bulbs are not considered “light-box” therapy used in cases of S.A.D., the bulbs can be enough for some people.

Full-spectrum light bulbs not enough? Try using light-box therapy.

For some people, a few full-spectrum bulbs are not going to be enough. If you are experiencing S.A.D. you may want to talk to your healthcare provider about using a light box.

What is different about light boxes? Well, first, they are really bright, probably about 20 times brighter than an ordinary light bulb. They filter out all the UV lighting making them safer to use. The person sits in front of the light box for 30-40 minutes every day.

Kicking up the Brain’s Happy Juice – Endorphins

Your emotional health drives your mood and your mood is going to color your day. How can you pick up your emotional health and change your mood. Changing your brain’s chemistry naturally will can improve your emotional health. So, why don’t you try kicking up those chemicals which cause you to feel good like endorphins?

Exercise is the best way to increase endorphins into the brain. It doesn’t have to be strenuous exercise like running. Check out “Why Walking is a Good Thing” to get some ideas on what you can do for exercise.   But, if exercise isn’t your thing and eating is, well try spicy foods or dark chocolate. Both of these options have research that suggests they can pick up the endorphin level in the body.

Social Interaction and Laughter to Bump Daylight Savings

Sure, you’re social distancing, and it may start to feel like you’re recreating the isolated family clans of the Old West, but there are still ways to find your tribe and socialize. 

In the blog, “Coping with Loneliness: How to Not Face Your Battles on Your Own,” I talk about some of the neat things happening in technology that help you create your tribe.

If you already have a tribe and want to find a way to gather and still stay safe, try group-watching online movies. Comedies can be an excellent opportunity to share time and laugh. 

The shortest days of the year reduce light, but don’t reduce activity. Today your life continues at the same hectic pace it had in summer. Instead of letting the darker days and longer nights leave you feeling listless, try these simple adjustments.