Feeling the dark days of winter creeping up?
Follow the advice from the old children’s’ hymn and
Brighten the corner where you are!
The days are getting shorter. The sun seems to be loosing its brightness. Football practice now ends at 6:30 instead of 7:30 and you can still hardly see the kids on the far side of the field. That quick trip to pull weeds after bringing the kids home from dance requires a yard light now. And zipping around on the scooter after supper needs headlights and watching out for deer crossing the road.
As I stumbled home last night to throw myself into my chair and watch Monday Night Football, tiredness crept up like a cat after a treat. Maybe not even tiredness…maybe just dullness. The inability to process my surroundings efficiently, and not really caring anyway. That kind of blahness.
Loving the beautiful colors of the fall, like the fall shade of very intense blue of Lake Superior only displays at this time of year to the splash of vibrant color on the hill above the city, doesn’t make up for that indisputable fact: it is getting dark earlier and the lack of light is makes me lethargic.
I hopped on the internet to see what I could find for sure tips on how to reenergize now the sun is gone so early. Here’s some of what I found when I searched for advice on how to keep bright and alert in the failing light of fall. Click on the links to go to the pages where the information was found.
- Have your physician check your iron and vitamin levels. If needed discuss the best changes in your diet and/or supplements to correct any low levels. Then make sure you eat what she recommends and take what supplements he recommends. Follow-through is necessary for success!
- Try getting up earlier. The daylight is there, is just at the other end of your day. Get up earlier, try working out before work. Workout facilities are often quiet at 6 a.m. and you will be energized for the entire day.
- Music. Put on whatever you really like to revel in. I have a secret love for doing housework to Mama Mia. Doesn’t matter if it is Mozart or the Beetles, as long as you love it and it encourages you to move with vigor.
- Light up your life. Don’t be wasteful, but don’t sit around in the dark, either. (See the information about SAD below.) Figure out where you’re going to be for the evening and let your light(s) shine.
- Indulge yourself in some feel-good activities. If you enjoy candle or lantern light or just snuggling up to the fire, do so. If you like to surf the net, do so in an environment that makes you feel good just to be there. Find yourself a particularly enjoyable book (it doesn’t have to be great literature) and spend some time reading just for your enjoyment.
Information downloaded on October 4, 2016 from http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/youre-getting-sleeeeepy-staying-awake-staying-sane-as-the-days-get-shorter-176680.
Here are a few more:
- Sing Oh What a Beautiful Morning in the shower…loudly. Use the shampoo bottle for a
microphone if it helps you get into it. Not only are the words happy, you will fill your lungs with good, fresh oxygen and fill your head with good thoughts. When you get to work, crank up the tunes. Something with a strong bass beat and an up-tempo. Don’t forget the headphones!
- Caffeine, that old standby. Works, but use it judiciously. A cup of coffee yes, a pot, not so much. One important caveat though: this is a short-term solution to your problem. The effects of caffeine last for only two or three hours, and then you’re susceptible to what is known as a “crash,” which causes you lose all energy completely. Caffeine isn’t the healthiest choice on this list, but it works in a pinch.
- Chewing gum. Chewing a piece of gum has been proved to help people stay awake and attentive in situations of boredom. This is due to the stimulation of facial muscles causing an increase in blood flow to the head. In addition, because chewing is not an involuntary muscle movement like breathing or blinking, it slightly stimulates the brain, even though you may not realize it, which helps you stay awake.
- Lifestyle changes. If you’re looking for a healthier, more long-term method of maintaining attentiveness during life’s less exciting moments, a lifestyle change may be in order. Regular exercise has been found to provide the body with more disposable energy, meaning you’ll be able to stay awake without having to drink cup after cup of coffee and listen to “Flight of the Bumblebee” continually. Eating properly will also provide you with the energy your body needs to make it through a day without dozing off. Making sure that you get the right amount of sleep every night is also an important factor in being able to stay awake during the day. Too little or too much sleep causes lethargy and sluggishness in your daily life. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle isn’t the easiest solution to tiredness, but changing your lifestyle is definitely the healthiest and most effective choice that you can make.
- Take a nap. A power nap is a great way to get some quick energy. However, restrict it to 20 minutes. Anything longer than that and you’ll wake up worse off than you were before the nap.
Downloaded on October 4, 2016 from https://www.scribendi.com/advice/seven_ways_to_stay_alert.en.html
- Two more:
Turn up the lights. Bright lights stimulate your brain, especially if you are tired because of an overly “fun” night out.
- If you are really tired, avoid multi-tasking. A study showed that folks who had 42 hours of sleep deprivation had a 38% loss of memory until they got a good night’s sleep. Then their usual memory returned.
Downloaded on October 4, 2016 from http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/features/how-to-stay-awake-after-all-nighter#4
Do you suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD)?
If some of these feelings seem to happen each year, have a real impact on your life, and improve during certain seasons, talk to your doctor, you may have seasonal affective disorder.
• I feel like sleeping all the time, or I’m having trouble getting a good night’s sleep
• I’m tired all the time, it makes it hard for me to carry out daily tasks
• My appetite has changed, particularly more cravings for sugary and starchy foods
• I’m gaining weight
• I feel sad, guilty and down on myself
• I feel hopeless
• I’m irritable
• I’m avoiding people or activities I used to enjoy
• I feel tense and stressed
• I’ve lost interest in sex and other physical contact
If these are your symptoms, contact your doctor to be screened for Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Downloaded on October 4, 2016 from BC Mental Health http://www.bcmhsus.ca/ and http://www.helpguide.org/articles/depression/seasonal-affective-disorder-sad.htm.