Home » life changes

Tag: life changes

5 Tips To Survive Daylight Savings Time!

Tips to Survive Daylight Savings TimePhoto by Camila Damásio on Unsplash

5 Tips to Survive Daylight Savings Time!

This weekend, we set our clocks back an hour and gain that extra hour of sleep! However, it’s not always easy for some of us.

While this is generally considered the “easier” time change to deal with, it can still be difficult for many. It is nice to wake up in the morning a little later, but it also means we have to go to bed an hour later than we’re used to. For some, that can seriously screw up everyday habits like eating, exercising, and sleep rhythm.

I decided to talk about this today because, well, I have a hard time with both DST changes every year. To help myself get through it, I found a few tips and tricks for that first week or so. If you have children, this can be a very tough disruption for them. Many of these tips work well for them too!

Tip #1: Start adjusting early

Instead of waiting until Sunday to make the switch over, start getting ready TODAY! Making small changes over a few days can make life so much easier. You won’t have to deal with feeling a whole hour “off,” and it won’t take as long to get used to.

For the end of DST, start going to bed 15 minutes later each night to adjust to your new bedtime. If possible, also try to wake up 15 minutes later each morning. It’s also a good idea to start pushing back your dinner time a little later each day, too!

Tip #2: Keep your routines.

You probably already have a solid bedtime routine, right? Keep it up! Now is not the time to change your nighttime patterns – wait until you’re used to the new clock. Consistency is important to getting a good night’s sleep.

If you don’t already have a set routine, consider starting one about a week or two after DST ends. It will not only help you sleep better, but it can help combat some of the “winter blues” as the days get shorter.

Tip #3: Use exercise to your benefit.

If you find yourself struggling to stay awake a little later each night, consider adding light exercise in the evening to give you some extra energy. Instead of grabbing that extra cup of coffee or tea, do a light yoga flow or take a nice evening walk. Staying idle will only remind you of how tired you are, so get up and move around. Don’t do a full-on workout session, though – working out intensely too close to bedtime can make it harder to fall asleep.

Tip #4: Consider a vitamin D supplement.

As the days get shorter and we cover up more from the cooler temperatures, our necessary daily amount of sunlight exposure drops. Since sunlight is one of the best ways for our bodies to produce vitamin D, many of us end up severely deficient this time of year. This can be especially bad in places like Seattle, where our sunlight exposure is crap already.

I found that taking a vitamin D supplement every day helps with the energy dips I get when it’s cloudy for days on end. Taking my vitamin D later in the day also helps give me a little energy boost in the afternoon, instead of using caffeine or sugary snacks.

Tip #5: You’ll get used to it – don’t worry!

We go through these changes every year, and every year we adjust to them eventually. Be kind to yourself and to others, and know that it’s normal to feel off balance. If you have children, keep reminding yourself that this is even harder for them. They may be too young to know what is going on, or they will feel a bit off-kilter this week too.

Even though we gain an hour of sleep on Saturday night, it’s not generally enough to completely change our lives. So stick to your routines, take things slow, and things will get back to normal soon! Let me know if you try some of my tips to survive Daylight Savings Time!

Prepping 2016 New Year’s Resolutions

IMG_0662

It seems early to be talking about this, but the new year will be here in only 11 days!

New Year’s resolutions seem to be a tradition as old as time. Every year, we commit to spending the next 365 days improving our minds, bodies, finances, health, and organizational skills – and every year, millions of us barely make it through the month before quitting.

I’ve been the person to make bold declarations and watch them fizzle out, and I’ve also had resolutions that I stuck to for the entire year (and often far beyond that). Since I’m one of the few who has had success with yearly resolutions in the past, I thought I’d share some advice on how to make 2016 your most successful year yet!

Prepping 2016 New Year’s Resolutions

One: Start thinking early!

Even though you have plenty of time left to declare your 2016 resolutions, don’t put it off until the last minute! You have a better chance of being successful if you choose a goal carefully.

Make a list of ideas, then really take time to think about each one before choosing the right resolution. How easy are they to pull off? Are they year-long goals, or something you can do in a month? What will you need to be successful?

Two: Try several smaller goals rather than one big one!

Instead of saying, “I’m going to lose [insert insane amount of weight here],” consider breaking it down into smaller, monthly goals instead. That way, instead of feeling defeated after a month of only losing a pound, you can celebrate actually finishing something!

As an example, here are some smaller goals that will be much easier to achieve – and will help you stay healthy throughout the year:

  • Do 30 minutes of exercise every day for a month
  • Cook dinner at home every night for a month
  • Go vegetarian/vegan for a month
  • Take a walk after dinner every day for a month
  • Give up dessert 6 days a week for a month

My most successful new year’s resolution was during my senior year of college – I decided to give up soda for a year. It was tough for the first month or so, but I did it – and over a decade later, I still do (99% of the time). It helped me get rid of chronic headaches, bloating, insomnia, and saved me a ton of money!

Three: Keep it a solo affair!

Don’t choose a goal that is dependent on anyone else for it to work – it will just give you someone to blame when things go wrong. Also, it’s not a good idea to team up with your spouse/friends with this specific type of goal-setting. You’ll be disappointed if others quit early, or you’ll feel bad if you do.

For example, I would love to set a goal that I wake up every morning to a perfectly clean kitchen. It’s insanely easy for me to do when I live alone…but impossible when I don’t. The only way I could achieve this is by nagging the shit out of my husband, who is supposed to do dishes every night (but does not), or do them myself. Neither option sounds right to me, so I can’t make that a goal.

My husband, however, could make it his goal to do them every night…but that’s just a pipe dream. 🙂

Four: Consider a mantra for the year instead!

Last year, I decided not to go with a specific “goal” for the year, and instead chose a mantra to live by: “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” Since I knew 2014 was going to be a big year with a lot of changes, I wanted to leave things more open-ended.

Even though I didn’t always live up to that mantra, I felt like a lot of moments in that year were driven by that mantra. I quit my job, packed up my car, and drove cross-country – by myself. It was a huge challenge, but one that was for sure outside my comfort zone – and was totally worth it.

Instead of a set goal, try finding a mantra/quote that sums up what you want 2016 to look like. Here are some great examples:

Quote_Collage

Five: Check in periodically!

Keep a journal (or if you blog like me, post it online) where you “check in” with yourself every so often. Every day/week/month (whatever works for you), go back to your goals and see how well you are achieving them. 

Celebrate your successes (made the bed 5 days this week) rather than dwelling on failures (forgot to make the bed 2 days). If you find yourself slipping up a lot, consider changing your daily routine/habits to better achieve your goals – or retool them to fit your needs.

One year, I resolved to eat vegetarian every day until dinner. I found that too challenging with my busy work schedule and budget, so I switched to one vegetarian meal each day – and found that much easier. I didn’t feel like a failure at all – just someone who needed to rework my goal to fit my life better.

 

There you go! So what are you thinking about improving for 2016? I’m still stuck between setting a realistic goal, or going with a mantra like I have the past couple years. Any good ideas are welcome!