In health, Safety, Winter driving

Daylight saving time ends on November 1, 2020. We may welcome the extra hour of sleep, but not the body disruption the clock change causes.  Losing an hour of afternoon daylight is associated with an increase in some forms of depression symptoms, also known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Women and young people are most at risk, but anyone can be affected – so if you feel moody, have low energy, feel hopeless, have difficulty concentrating and feel depressed, don’t brush it off, go see your doctor.  

Shorter and colder days are already a challenge during normal times. This winter we will also have to contend with additional stressors and physical distancing due to the pandemic. But there are ways to make it easier and prepare. Here are some tips for the whole family from the Mayo Clinic: 

  1. Connect with family and friends by scheduling virtual interactions, make it a weekly check-in.
  2. If you can, try to reduce your screen time. You can try these tips. 
  3. Make adjustments for holiday traditions. Many of us will not be able to travel for the holidays because we want to protect our loved ones. But we can still celebrate safely together, virtually.  
  4. Learn how to practice relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation. You can find stress management techniques here and here. 
  5. Engage in play. The kind of play that can help you take a break from the pressure of daily life and help you relax your mind and body. You can find some ideas here. 

The end of the daylight-saving time is also a time to review a few physical safety tips: 

  • Prepare a winter emergency kit for your car. 
  • Carry a flashlight and add reflective items to your outfit when you go out for a jog or a walk. 
  • Deck your bike with rear and front lights. 
  • Check your car’s headlights, brake, and signal lights. 
  • Pay extra attentions at crosswalks and intersections. 
  • Check your smoke alarm batteries 
  • And check if your fire extinguishers need recharging. 

Let us know how you prepare for the winter months and share your tips on staying safe and sane these days.  Respond to this post on Facebook or Twitter.  

Sources: 
https://www.carepointhealth.org/mental-health-shorter-days-fall/ 
https://www.mayoclinichealthsystem.org/hometown-health/speaking-of-health/covid-19-during-winter-8-things-you-can-do-to-mentally-prepare 
http://safetytoolboxtopics.com/Seasonal/end-of-daylight-saving-time-can-be-deadly.html 
https://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/uz2255 
https://thegeniusofplay.org/genius/expert-advice/articles/10-ways-adults-can-be-more-playful.aspx#.X5sJ2UeSlPZ 

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