Once we officially transition into fall, we come face to face with the reality that our days are getting shorter. The sun is setting sooner and sooner, reminding us that darker days are coming—unless we take some action to brighten them up. We don’t have to fall victim to the winter blues and, instead, can prepare for more structured and enjoyable days ahead. Here are some tips to make the most out of your shorter days.

1. Shift activities toward earlier in the day

A lack of light throughout the day may make us feel sluggish, but by shifting some of our activities toward the beginning of the day we can keep some of that at bay. If you’re usually an evening exerciser, try out some pre-work workouts to get your blood pumping early in the morning. Research has shown this boosts metabolism and can set our days up to feel more successful.

Any outdoor activities you enjoy can also be scheduled during the more sunny hours of the day. Take a walk outside during your lunch break or schedule a weekend hiking excursion so you have something to anticipate throughout the week. A 9 to 5 grind may lessen your daylight hours, but you can work around that with some planning.

2. Make sure you have a solid routine

This is so important to maintain a feeling of balance while the days darken and start to chill. If maintaining the same routine works for you, keep at it. Alternatively, you can take a step back and examine your schedule to see if it needs updating.

Mornings and evenings are essential to consider when planning a daily routine during this stark shift. Make sure you have plenty of activities, both relaxing and exciting, to do in your evening hours to remind your body that it’s still time to be awake.

3. Don’t let the setting sun determine an early bedtime

Just because the sun sets at 4:00 doesn’t mean you need to jump into your jammies and turn in for the night! This adjustment can play tricks on our minds and our circadian rhythms. Instead of succumbing to the cozy temptation of an early bedtime, try to maintain some evening schedule similarities with your summertime routine. If you used to have date night every Friday at a nice restaurant, find a way to keep this tradition alive during the colder, darker months. You don’t have to be a shut-in!

4. Revamp (relamp?) your lighting set-up

Shorter days mean less natural light. This is a concern for our natural rhythms, as well as our ability to absorb vitamin D. Light therapy is an excellent solution for those who face more gloomy days than not. On days when the sun does break through the clouds, try to get outside for a half hour or so—you will still absorb some vitamin D through any exposed skin and enjoy some fresh air in the process.

For times when you must be indoors, changing around your home’s lighting may also be in order. Perhaps more strategically-placed lamps will brighten your space and make it feel more inviting and conducive for indoor activities.

Sourcce:  care2.com    By: Katie Medlock