How I Tackle the Shorter Fall and Winter Days

woman over 50 wearing leopard print pajamas sitting at a desk reading a book for morning me time a lightbox is next to her to help combat the shorter fall and winter days tiredness and she is holding a coffee cup

Shorter fall and winter days is probably the only thing that I don’t really like about this time of year.  My gut is that many would agree with me on that.  Yes, it’s almost time for that dreaded time change.  We will be getting up when it’s still dark out and then having dinner in the dark as well.

My alarm goes off at 5am or 5:30am Monday thru Friday so that I can get up and get in my morning me time and head to the gym.  I have written about that routine and you can read about it here.  My morning routine and a few other things really keep me on track during the months that we have shorter days.

I know that I am not alone in this dislike of the shorter days.  Seasonal Affective Disorder  (SAD) is experienced by millions of people every year.  I have not been diagnosed with this in particular, but do experience some of the winter blues symptoms.  You can read the definition of SAD here.

How Shorter Fall and Winter Days Affect Me

  • The snooze button sees way to much love from me.  Getting up when it’s pitch black out is so hard.
  • Comfort food smells and sounds so good.  Extra carbs means a little extra fluff if I’m not careful.
  • My energy levels are not like they are when the sun is out.  Naps sound so much better in the cold months for some reason.
  • I tend to stay in more and not be as social.

What I Do To Ease Shorter Fall and Winter Days Symptoms

  • Light Box Therapy.  Sitting in front of a light box for 15-30 minutes every morning is something that I really look forward to.  It is such a great way to start my day.  It’s always a sunny day for me and it really wakes you up.
  • I try to take a short walk in the middle of the day.  It does wonders to get out and stretch my legs and also helps to get my creative juices flowing.  Doesn’t take long so you can easily do this on your lunch break or even your coffee break if you are at the office.  Take the coffee or hot tea along with you if it’s really cold out.
  • I change out my alarm clock to a Wake Up Light.  What a game changer to actually ease into the early morning hours with light versus a noise that you just want to turn off.
  • Tracking my food so that I don’t go overboard with too many carbs.  Yes, those little bites, licks and tastes of comfort food add up so I really try to track and keep up with my food intake during the cooler months so that I don’t end up with a little extra fluff.
  • I make sure that I prioritize seeing friends and getting out.  Otherwise, it is so easy to come in from the gym and get into warm and cozy clothing and not get out to interact with other people.

Winter Blues or Something More

Keep in mind as we approach the shorter days that many of us have the winter blues and you can try some of my tips for keeping them at bay.  However, many people are affected by this to a much greater degree and may need to talk with someone about how they are feeling.  If you are feeling down for days at a time or if your sleep patterns change drastically it might be signs that you need to talk with someone to help you get thru the winter months with ease.

Healthcare professionals are trained to figure out the best and most effective ways for you to feel like yourself all year round.  Whether you prefer an online person to talk with or someone you can visit in person Ray of Hope Counseling Services here in Georgia.  They have several locations and make it convenient for you.  They also accept most insurances.  The photo below is their offices in Peachtree City, so if you need a therapist in Peachtree City and visit them, you know what to expect.


Thanks for taking the time to read this.  Let me know if you have any questions about how I get thru the winter months with a smile on my face.  Remember to always have a little SASs in your day.


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  1. jodie Filogomo says:

    I love the idea of the wake up light alarm. I think that’s why I love being retired. We get up basically when the sun does. And it doesn’t hurt that we have 300 days of sunshine here.

    1. The wake up alarm clock is wonderful in the winter especially on those really cold mornings. I couldn’t imagine that many days of sunshine.

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