It happens every year, but somehow still surprises me every time.
The clocks go back and within a few weeks it’s dark in the mornings when we get up, and getting dark again by the time we’re coming home from school.
I generally quite like the dark afternoons and evenings, there’s something really cosy about it to me. A lot of people find it really hard though.
The limited amount of natural daylight is a big factor in people suffering with seasonal affective disorder. So making sure you get enough light at this time of year can make a big difference in how you feel.
Spending time in daylight has some massive benefits to our wellbeing.
It helps to reset our body clocks, prompting our bodies to produce melatonin which helps us get to sleep. Daylight also gives us a boost in vitamin D which helps reduce the risk of heart disease and maintain a healthy weight.
Getting enough light is essential to our sense of wellbeing not only because it boosts our physical health, but because it does wonders for our mental health.
It helps us feel more alert, helps us sleep better so we have more energy, and makes us feel calmer and happier.
So what can we do in the winter months to make sure we get enough of the light we need?
The best thing to do is make time each day to get outside for a walk.
It might be a walk around the block on your lunch hour, if you work outside the home. Or taking the baby out for a walk in the park each day if you’re a stay at home parent. Try to get out in the middle of the day when the sun is at its highest, even if it’s just for ten minutes.
Another great thing to do is set your home up to let in as much natural light as possible.
Clean all the windows and pull back the curtains to let all that light flood in.
If you have a conservatory then try and spend some time in there every day if you’re at home in the daylight hours. The sunlight coming in through the conservatory glass will give you all the benefits of being outside in it.
If you’re only ever at home in the early morning and once it’s dark in the afternoons then you could get a daylight lamp to use.
These lights mimic natural daylight and are really great to use in the mornings to help you wake up and feel more alert before you head off to work. Some studies have found that using one of these lamps for an hour a day can improve your sense of wellbeing in just a week.
A daylight lamp is also a great option to put on your desk if you work in an office.
If you don’t have a seat near to any windows, then make a point of getting out in the natural light on your lunch break. Don’t just sit at your desk and eat, get up, get out and get some light on your face.
The winter months can seem so long, and when the daylight hours are so short it can really get you down. But by making an effort to get enough daylight on a regular basis can really help to boost your wellbeing and fight the winter blues.
Disclosure: this is a collaborative post