I used to call the night we turn back the clocks for Daylight Savings Time my “Armegeddon” because it felt as though the darkness of winter descended on that very day—the depressing feeling when you pick up your kids from sports practice in the afternoon or leave your office and it’s already dark. I realize that by the time we get into DST, our days have already been getting shorter for four months. In fact, just seven weeks into DST, we are at winter solstice, which means the days from thereon out begin to grow longer.
We humans are not all that different from plants. Take away our sun, and we begin to wilt. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is pretty easy to understand. As seasons shift, so does the amount of sunlight, which affects your circadian rhythm, the body’s internal biological clock that governs certain brain wave activity and hormone production. In some people, the changing of mood-related chemicals can cause depression. Highly sensitive people are especially prone to depression as the weather changes. Darkness one hour earlier can shock their systems much like jetlag—generating an angry response from their central nervous system.
Here are a few ways I survive the shorter days of winter and try my best not to wilt.