I have winter blues, and my experience of it can be rather extreme, so for years I have been thrilled to get the sun back when spring comes, and Daylight Saving Time has always seemed to be a part of that, for me. But over the past year or so, I have been gradually realizing that the time change can be both a kiss and a kick...
Out of Sync
Moving our clocks in either direction changes the principal time cue -- light -- for setting and resetting our 24-hour natural cycle, or circadian rhythm. In doing so, our internal clock becomes out of sync or mismatched with our current day-night cycle. -WebMD
During the winter, part of my morning routine is trying to make myself get up and fiercely not wanting to, until it's late in the day. My evening routine includes wishing I could get myself to bed but not feeling sleepy, and wondering what the hour count will be for sleep by the time I finally get myself to bed.
My light box has transformed both routines, thank goodness, and made it possible to both to get up earlier and to go to bed at an earlier time. Even mealtimes are affected, because the earlier I eat my meals, the more my body conforms to a closer-to-normal schedule.
But gradually, I have been coming to realize that the time change to Daylight Saving Time creates a challenge for me, even as it also adds more sunlight to my day.
See if you are experiencing the same challenges, even if you don't have winter blues...
(1) Waking Up & Getting Up - feeling like it's the wrong time, or shouldn't/couldn't be the time it says it is on the clock and struggling now to get going, even if that time was working for you before.
I was already challenged to get up by 8am, but now 8am is really 7am and by body is still quite sure that that is way too early.
(2) Work or Morning Routine Tasks - it's time to start the day, but your body's engine is still cold.
You have things to do, and you start, but it's not working the way it should. You can't even depend on your thinking skills the way you normally do, and sometimes it feels like you are slowed down.
For me, it means setting a goal to leave the house to run an errand at a certain, and actually leaving hours later. Or having an appointment and being a few minutes late, when usually, I manage to get there early.
(3) Mealtimes - not being hungry when you should eat, which then affects the other meals and throws them off in your schedule.
Because I wake up slowly, and am more of night owl, I am not hungry right away. But I had a schedule going that worked for me, thanks to my light box.
Now, it has been pushed back an hour, so my morning tea is late, breakfast is late, lunch doesn't always happen and by dinner, I'm starving, but it's late, too. My schedule, even for eating, is off.
(4) Your Evening Routine - the wind-down period for bed begins later than it usually does.
When you work from home, it can be all too easy to always be working. And I have made an effort to bring my work to a close by dnnertime, or as soon after dinner as possible.
But this month, it is still light for hours after we eat dinner. And I don't feel the cues to begin to slow down, and let go of the work.
I find myself closing my laptop, trying to read and feeling bored (restless?), and then, getting it back out again to get online. So my evening routine is not quite working for me right now.
(5) Bedtime - you find yourself going to bed later than you usually do.
If I am trying to get to bed by 11pm, but at 11pm, my body knows it is still 10pm, I can understand why that becomes a struggle. But for some reason, it is even harder than that.
It is as if 11pm feels like 9, and I am still awake and alert hours later.
3 Suggestions If You're Still Adjusting
Experts say that if you're experiencing those challenges, too, they are normal reactions to the time change.
Daylight Saving Time affects your light cues, so they say that getting as much exposure to light as you can during the day will help you transition to the change in time. And avoiding bright light after dark may help you reset your clock at night, as well.
One article I read compared the time change to travel to different areas and trying to adjust to the differences in time. If you have been slow to adjust, as I have, it's only a matter of time (pun intended) before things get back to normal.
But increasing your cues around waking up and going to sleep may help you in the meantime. You may have to act against what feels natural, for a while, until it feels normal again.
Here are three suggestions for doing so...
(1) In the evening, turn off a lamp or two earlier than you normally would or use dimmer switches, closing the curtains and creating the sense of darkness closer to the time you are used to seeing it go dark.
(2) Create more bright light exposure in the morning to support getting up at what feels like an earlier time, and to help you adjust to an earlier need for alertness.
(3) For meals, I suggest eating smaller amounts at the regular times, so it helps you reset your eating schedule.
You may think of other ways to support the shift, too. For example, calming evening routines that help you wind down more easily, hours before bedtime.
Here's hoping we have all adjusted in time for the beauty of April flowers.
And for more tips and suggestions for your morning routine or evening routine, check out my free lifestyle library.
See you next time!
I have homeschooled my son since preschool. But it was hit or miss until I found the system I would use from first grade through high school (Waldorf). I loved it so much, we did first grade again, using a Waldorf curriculum, during the summer before our next homeschooling year began.
Even all these years later, I am so grateful for homeschooling and its impact on our family. But it hasn’t always been perfect.
I was completely unprepared for moments of boredom, for times when we got to the end of the year and weren’t quite done and had to hurry to get to playing the Sesame Street version of “School’s Out for Summer.” But what I was most surprised by was how much energy it took and how hard it made to get things done.
Because I have chronic fatigue syndrome, an autoimmune disorder that can leave me flattened without warning, and too sick to get the things done on my to-do list, I learned that I had to plan carefully for each homeschooling day. Sometimes, homeschooling was going to be the only big thing we accomplished.
Here are some of the things I learned to do, to deal with the energy homeschooling required…
Homeschooling: How I Fixed What Went Wrong
(1) As often as possible, we shopped for groceries on the weekends. And I planned meals that were as simple and easy as I could make them during the week, saving anything special I wanted to make for the weekend.
(2) We often homeschooled in our pajamas. If we knew we weren’t going anywhere that day, we kept our slippers on and I didn’t bother with hair and makeup.
(3) As a mom who worked from home, I sometimes squeezed in a little work before the homeschool day began. If I needed to write a blog post, we might start a half hour to an hour later than usual, and then I’d know it was done and not have it hanging over my head, demanding time I didn’t have, while we were homeschooling.
(4) If we were getting together with others for a homeschool gathering, we shortened our own day and did our part first. I wanted the rest of those days to be free, once we got back home.
But it took having several times where we had homeschool work waiting on us once we got back to realize that that was not the best way for us to do it. One example was ballroom dancing.
It was so much fun to get together with other homeschoolers once a week for a class my son loved. But it wore me out to go and come back, so I learned to plan light on those days, and do any homeschool lessons we needed to do that day before we left for the class.
(5) Waldorf homeschooling always began with something called circle time. And it was easy to pair that with a sort of family quiet time. But I learned that I would need to have my own before the day began, and before my son got up for the day, because after doing circle time, I often didn’t get around to anything else spiritual for the rest of the day.
Time wise, if I wanted to have my own quiet time, I realized it had to happen first thing.
If you’re a homeschool mom like me, I’d love to know in the comments if there were things you felt unprepared for as your homeschooling journey began. How did you resolve them?
If you still struggle with your homeschooling routine, with finding enough time for everything that needs to be done, or with mom time in general, there is a free eBook that may help. Click the link below to find out more...
See you next time!
What would it feel like to have 2 more hours in each 24-hour day?
I know that's technically impossible, but if you could have it, how would you use it? Take a moment to think about what you'd do with extra time.
Here at Meet Jeanine, we've been talk about mom time and making mom life easier.
How to make the most of the time you have. How to create more of it so that you get to do what means the most to you, like spending more time with your family.
But we've also explored what challenges us about finding and managing time. I've shared some difficulties I have that I hope to overcome in terms of what throws me off track, time-wise, and what I wish were better.
Well, I believe that the help we need has arrived. Because I knew about it before Ultimate Bundles released it, I had that Christmas-is-coming feeling, and could not wait to share it with you.
But, finally, it was ready and I could tell all the secrets! :)
There's a great, giant bundle of resources that's designed to get you more time in your day for the things that matter. And if you struggle to find enough time for those things (like I do), I invite you to take a look....
In this post, I'm going to tell you about the whole productivity bundle and you can decide if it feels right for you. It's a huge bundle of resources!!
When you buy the Ultimate Productivity Bundle you’ll get access to:
The value is over $1500, if you bought everything separately! That's one thing I love about the bundles - you get so many resources in just one bundle.
You also can buy cheat sheets for every eBook and eCourse in the bundle. Review all the bundle’s material in less than half the time, and then dive deeper into the topics that interest you the most.
Am I saying you should buy the bundle?
Not necessarily. I know that just because this ultimate productivity bundle offers tons of great information, that doesn't mean it's the perfect bundle for you. And as someone who has to consider every single purchase, I don't want you to spend any money you don't need to spend.
So let's examine exactly what's in it, and then you can decide whether or not it's for you.