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Days Getting Shorter, To-Do Lists Getting Longer

Oct 26, 2022 | Mental Wellness

Key Takeaways:

  • Daylight Savings is just around the corner. Do you understand how this structural change impacts you on an individual level?
  • Despite the days getting shorter, our tasks of daily living stay relatively unchanged. Balancing this can be a challenge; below are some tips for how to begin.
  • Consider mental health therapy as a tool that you can use when assessing, managing, and working towards balance in your own life.

In about two weeks on November 6th, every state aside from Hawaii and Arizona will turn their clocks backwards in accordance with the daylight savings tradition. This temporal transformation acknowledges an important and impending characteristic of this time of year: the amount of sunlight each day is getting shorter. And yet, the daily tasks of living remain the same and may even increase as we enter into the holiday season. How do we balance this transition?

First, it is important to acknowledge this change. Throughout our lives, we as individuals will be impacted by changes that are out of our control. These changes might impact our capacity for social engagement, for work functioning, or for availability for friends and loved ones. Becoming (1) aware of these changes, and (2) acknowledging how they might impact us allows us and those in our lives to be on the same page and to develop realistic and reasonable expectations. Consider how daylight savings might impact you this season, and explore your options for how to communicate your changing needs.

It is important to pause and take stock of your priorities, goals, needs, and responsibilities going into this season. What will be staying the same? What will be changing? What are you used to doing and can handle on auto pilot? What new skills or adaptations might you have to make? While these are just a few questions to get you started, it could be helpful to set a date and time to have a “meeting with yourself”-— or some other sort of intentional pause — to assess and articulate your priorities, goals, needs, and responsibilities going into this season.

And finally, make room for celebration. This season is chock-full of opportunities to celebrate light, community, and gratitude. This past Monday was Diwali, which is the Hindu festival of lights. In December, the Jewish people will celebrate Hanukkah, another festival of lights. Informally, people will adorn their homes with twinkly lights or set up luminarias along their driveways. While “light” is not as naturally found during this time of the year, people have always found ways of bringing their own light in. How do you plan to bring your own light in these days?

Daylight savings impacts people in different ways. This year, challenge yourself to be attuned to how it might be impacting you and those close to you. By understanding this impact, you can regain control and work towards balance in your life. If you are feeling uncertain or overwhelmed by imbalance in your life, please consider therapy as a tool that may help you.

Dr. Anton Babushkin

Author: Anton Babushkin, PhD

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