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The Best of You: How to Deal with Darker Mornings and Earlier Evenings

Does anyone else feel the struggle of waking up to dark mornings? It’s personally one of the hardest things about transitioning from summer into fall (…and then winter).

While autumn brings with it a beautiful tapestry of colours, it also brings the earlier evenings and darker mornings. These can be difficult to get used to and many people feel a sense of sadness or fatigue associated with this change. It can sometimes feel like you don’t see daylight at all depending on where you work or go to school.

From my experience, it’s important to find a way to deal with these seasonal changes to help yourself adjust and even embrace the fall. 

Start a New Morning Routine

Trying to keep that summer routine isn’t going to work as the darker mornings roll in. You’ll need to make a few changes to help beat the morning blues. This is especially the case as the autumn temperatures get colder and the weather closes in. You want to find a morning routine that makes you happy and helps you get out from under the covers, even when daylight is still scarce.

Yoga in the home is one of the best ways you can make the most of the morning. You’ll get some good stretches in, while also connecting with yourself. Breathing exercises are good for relaxation and to spread the feel-good hormones around your body. You can even set your alarm to wake you up with inspirational music to get you going. Have your yoga mat in your bedroom or living room, where you can easily go from bed to mat with your gear and kick start your day with awakening stretches.

related: 5 Reasons to Start Stretching

Not quite in the mood for stretches, how about waking up to positive affirmations. There are several apps that are geared towards boosting your well-being, including letting you hear positive affirmations at set times. Once your alarm goes off, let those affirmations flow and start your day on the right foot.

If darkness outside really confuses your body in the morning, you might need to help it out by getting a daylight lamp. Daylight lamps can offer light therapy and combat the effects of seasonal change. Place one in your bedroom, switch it on when you wake up and get a dose of daylight to gently awaken your body.

Speaking of daylight…

Get as Much Daylight During the Day as Possible

It can feel impossible to escape the darkness in the fall, especially with the time change in November. However, you can do it with a few changes to your routine throughout the day. You need to get some daylight for the vitamin D, which will help improve bone mass, muscle density, and happy hormone levels.

Consider taking a walk at lunch time instead of remaining cooped up in the staff room the whole time or if you work at home like me, do yourself a favour and schedule a daily walk. If you don’t feel like going alone you can always ask a friend or colleague to go with you, so you have someone to talk to. If you have breaks during the day, spend at least five minutes of them in the fresh air. You’ll not just get the daylight, but the crisp fresh air will also energize you for the rest of your work day.

Create a New Evening Routine

Like the morning routine to combat the darker mornings, you also need to create a new evening routine to combat the longer evenings. There’s a chance that your body feels more tired earlier on in the evening. The brain sees the darkness and believes it’s time to unwind. Roll with that feeling in the fall.

Why not try meal planning and prep during the weekend to prepare your weekday meals in advance, that way when you come home from work or are spent from taking care of your kiddos at home and doing household work, your meal is basically ready for you. Making sure you eat right, with vitamin rich foods, will also help your body fight the seasonal blues.

If you’re having difficulty trying to keep up with evening activities, why not opt for more coziness inside the home. Enjoy evenings with a good book; opt for comfort with blankets and throws. Or perhaps an exercise session that involves strength training and stretches, followed by a bath and bed! For Friday night, create a fun evening in with friends or family members – you can host a game board night or watch your favourite fall movies as a family. The less you fight the change and follow what instinctively makes your mind, body, and soul feel better, the happier you will feel.

related: How To Effectively Practice Self-Love

My recommendation is to make the most of the darker mornings and earlier evenings. Take advantage of the time change to be proactive and make a new autumn routine for yourself that contributes to your overall health and happiness. You’ll feel happier and healthier with a positive routine and helpful tools you can turn to so you don’t feel as defeated by the weather and light changes.

Have you personally found an activity that helps when dealing with darker mornings and darker evenings? As always, we’d love to hear it, you never know who else you can help by sharing it!

Emily Smith
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