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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!

Road Trip Tips

Road Trip Tips

While I didn’t always enjoy going on road trips as a kid, I’ve grown to love them as an adult. Now that we live in a place that’s full of amazing parks, mountains, beaches, and historical sites, I’m looking forward to the weather cooling down so I can hit the road again.

Whether heading out for a day trip, or crossing the country, there are some things I’ve learned along the way that make life so much easier, so I thought I’d share!

Road Trip Tips!

1. While your cell phone can be a great asset, don’t rely on it for everything!

Road Trip TipsIf you’re planning a long road trip, I recommend using the Roadtrippers website and app. It’s a great website that can help you plan your trip, including where to stay, where to eat, and sites to see along the way. I used it to plan my cross-country move last year, and it came in handy whenever I was ahead of schedule and wanted to fit in some unplanned sightseeing. I would often coordinate my stops throughout the day so I could visit parks, monuments, and quirky stuff like the Mitchell Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota. This made the 4-day trip far less grueling!

While using apps to help you find your way, if you’re going to make a long trip (anything over a day), I suggest printing out your directions. You never know where you’ll get (or lose) a cell phone signal, so it’s a good idea to have that backup in case your phone or car’s GPS stops working.

2. Accept that fast food is going to happen, and make the best choices you can.

Road Trip Tips If you’re taking a short day trip, you can certainly plan ahead and take healthy snacks with you to get you to your destination. However, on a longer trip, you may just have to live with stopping for the occasional fast food meal.

To balance out the fast food, I made sure the rest of my meals each day were as normal as possible. Since I stayed at hotels each night, I ate my normal breakfast of coffee and oatmeal, or eggs with toast, instead of diving into doughnuts or sugary cereal. Throughout the day, I made sure to drink plenty of water and snacked on granola bars, crackers, and other things I could easily take in the car.

Halfway through my cross-country trip, I treated myself to a nice steak and giant glass of red wine one night – and after a couple days of granola bars, chicken fingers, and Red Bull, it was so needed!

3. Make time to exercise!

Road Trip Tips

Regardless of how long or short your road trip will be, don’t forget to take breaks. Sitting in the car all day can be incredibly draining, and will wreak havoc on your back, hips, legs, and neck!

If you’re at a road stop during a short trip, get out and walk around for a few minutes, and do some light stretching. If you’re on a long trip, find time to work out in the morning, and do some yoga or stretching in the evening.

I find that on long trips, it’s good to find sightseeing locations that require me to do some walking or hiking, like I did at the Mt. Moriah Cemetary in Deadwood, South Dakota. It was the perfect way to start the day, and kept me energized through the rest of the day in the car.

4. Stick to your regular sleeping schedule as much as possible

Road Trip Tips

I know this can be easier said than done, especially if you don’t like sleeping in strange places – but do your best to get to bed and wake up at regular times.

If you’re driving through multiple time zones, sticking to your regular sleep and wake times will help you adjust more easily. For my cross-country trip, I always woke up at 7am, and went to bed at 11pm, regardless of what time zone I was in (and what time my body felt it was).

I know it can be tempting to wake up super early, or drive late into the night, but I find that keeping to regular hours is less taxing. It’s also much safer if you’re traveling alone to avoid driving late at night.

I also highly recommend using a sleeping app, like Sleep Genius, which I’ve been using over the past couple years. It takes a little getting used to, but I’ve used it in my quiet home and loud hotel rooms with great success. If I need a little extra boost, I take melatonin before bed – just make sure to try using it before going on a trip, as it affects people differently!

5. Take twice as much music (maybe more) than you think you’ll need!  

Road Trip Tips

I’ve learned this one the hard way over the years! No matter how many CD mixes I make, it’s never enough. This is another area where I’ll say not to entirely rely on your cell phone – especially if you rely on apps like Spotify, which require you to have a cell signal.

If you have a CD player, burn some discs of your favorite music, and when you think you’ve got all the music you’ll want…burn a few more! I guarantee you that, whether your trip is short or long, it’s never a good idea expect your phone to work, or radio stations to come in clearly (especially if you’re driving in remote areas or mountains). Another great idea when traveling with friends is to ask each one to bring their own mixes to share, that way everyone gets to listen to things they like, and you might get hooked on new bands too!