How I overcome time-change sadness
How are you?
Me, I’m doing OK.
The fact I’m doing OK is actually excellent, because it’s been a week since the fall time change.
It took me several years to realize this, but when the fall time change rolls around and Daylight Saving Time ends, I develop a strange sort of panicky sadness. Like a “don’t let the sun go down on me,” “rage, rage against the dying of the light” crisis that begins around 5 pm and can last into the next day. The sun slips down below the horizon, and dinnertime and bedtime are desperate evenings filled with dread.
Fortunately, once I realized this pattern and recognized I wasn’t actually losing it, I was able to prepare for the time change and do something about it. I don’t know if this is exactly the same thing as seasonal affective disorder (SAD), because it doesn’t last the whole season — just a few weeks to a few months — which possibly could be linked to the fact I live in Florida.
Here is how I deal with the fall time change:
1. First, as I mentioned, recognize it’s a seasonal issue and not a personal shortcoming.
2. Mark the day that the time change is coming up on the calendar, and warn the people close to you that you might be turning into a werewolf. Oops, I mean you might start feeling down.
3. Get plenty of rest. Running yourself ragged and trying to deal with the stressful feelings that come with the time change? Disaster. Go to bed early, sleep in late, take naps, whatever it takes.
4. Get some sunshine on your face. Especially morning sunshine. I usually wear sunglasses everywhere outside, but at this time of year, I leave my glasses off when I’m driving and at other times, when I can. If you don’t have sunshine where you live, try a light-therapy light, easily available at Amazon and big-box stores.
5. Take Vitamin D supplements. Vitamin D, it turns out, isn’t actually a vitamin but more like a hormone created when we’re exposed to sunlight. I like the liquid that comes with a dropper. I put the recommended amount in a glass of water or tea. I give it to my kids, too. Some people think loss of Vitamin D and eating fewer fresh foods and more sugar in the fall and winter contribute to catching more colds this time of year.
6. Get some exercise — outside if possible. Get some of those feel-good endorphins going through you.
7. Ignore the night. The first week or so of the time change, I try to avoid going outside at night. I even avoid looking out the window after sundown. I don’t want to remember that the light is gone and the day is over. I try to stay busy doing other things indoors.
And of course as always, eating healthy foods is beneficial throughout the year.
These are things that help me, and maybe they will help someone else too.