I’ll be the first person to admit that the darkness at this time of year makes things hard. Often you wake up in the dark, go to work in the dark and go home in the dark, somehow missing out on daylight altogether and end up feeling like you’ve inexplicably started living underground. Although I love this time of year, I’m no fan of the seemingly never-ending darkness, and so have a few tactics for getting through these dark days and nights.
I think it’s a bit of a strange concept that the daylight hours can change yet we have to stay on the same schedule. Obviously there are some things beyond our control, but I have a little change around of my routine at this time of year. When it’s dark by 5pm, I find it much easier to go to bed at least an hour earlier than usual, meaning I can get up an hour earlier, and be awake in time for the sunrise to make the most of the daylight in the mornings.
Keep it cosy:
The winter darkness also brings a winter chill, and being cold and dark is no fun whatsoever. This is the time of year to make your home as cosy as possible. Add a few extra cushions to the sofa and bring out the fluffiest blanket you own. Change into soft joggers and comfy socks when you get home; light candles, swap bright overhead lights for softer fairy lights, and spend your evenings snuggled up in front of your favourite TV show.
Not the cheapest of solutions, but one that I would wholeheartedly recommend if you struggle with tiredness or your mood at this time of year. I have a Lumie SAD Brightspark Light Box in my living room which I keep switched on when I’m in there and really do feel that it helps. It’s bright but not blinding, and I now find it’s light quite comforting to have on during the day. If you waking up difficult, then I would suggest trying a Lumie Bodyclock, it wakes you by lightening up over 30 minutes to replicate the sun rising, making the room gradually brighter even if you have to get up in the dark. I don’t think I could survive this time of year without those two lights so would really suggest having a look at them if you are struggling too.
Shut out the night:
A simple one, but sitting in doors looking outside to a dark street or dark garden is doing nothing but remind you how dark it is. Close the curtains and blinds and focus how warm, glowy and cosy it is inside, and not worry about what’s going on outside.
And finally, if it all just seems a bit dark and miserable, I’m not above bribery to cheer myself up. Grab your favourite coffee or sweet treat on the way home from work. Cancel all your plans and watch your favourite movie when you get home from work with a bowl of popcorn. Have an excessively bubbly bath and an early night in your softest pyjamas. Give yourself a reason to enjoy those dark and gloomy winter nights, and suddenly they don’t seem so bad after all.