There is always light. If only we are brave enough to see it. If only we are brave enough to be it.Amanda Gorman
The Greek Goddesses, Persephone provides an origin story for our changing seasons. When Persephone falls through a crack into the underworld (a place of no return) her mother, the Goddess Demeter, becomes distraught. She neglects her role of attending to the fruits of nature, causing a famine that threatens to destroy all of humanity. Zeus intervenes to bring her back and set the world in order. However, because Persephone broke her fast and ate some pomegranate seeds in the underworld she must split her time between the two worlds. When she is on the earthly plain daylight extends bringing spring and summer. When Persephone returns to the underworld daylight recedes and the seasons turn from fall to winter. Women came together in rituals for the Eleusinian Mysteries festival reenacting Persephone’s story, fasting, and breaking their fast with pomegranates. Followed by dancing at sunset in the recently harvested fields.
This week, many of us will “fall back” in time – gaining an extra hour as we move from Daylight Savings to Standard Time. Where I live the sun will abruptly go from setting at 5:56 on November 6th to setting at 4:55 on November 7th. It’s important to recognize that this abrupt shift is not conducive to how our Circadian Rhythms respond to light and dark. We might feel “hangry” before mealtime. We might find ourselves wide awake an hour before the alarm goes off and then struggle to make it to our “regular” bedtime.
Every nerve and tissue in our body aligns with our biological clock and disruptions can mess with our sleep, digestion, and blood pressure causing stress and affecting our physical and emotional well-being. It can take up to a week to adjust. Here are a few simple practices you can do for a few days before and after the time change to make the transition more easeful.
- Plan ahead this week and start going to bed 30 minutes earlier.
- Stay Present: Research tells us that more accidents happen when the time changes and staying in the moment can help you to avoid them. When you find yourself on autopilot or multi-tasking come back to your breath. Maybe this isn’t the time to take on new physical or mental challenges.
- Get Some Sun: Since it might be lighter for you now in the morning use the time for a brisk walk or take a walk outside before lunch.
- Make a Meal Plan: Make yourself a supportive meal plan that includes seasonal fruits (like pomegranate seeds), cooked vegetables, and plenty of healthy snacks. Go for a bigger lunch (outdoors if you can) and then plan a lighter candle-lit dinner.
- Embrace the Darkness: Exaggerate your bedtime rituals. Start getting ready for bed an hour before bedtime. Turn off all bright lights, especially from screens, Take a warm bath or curl up in bed with a paper book, meditate, or cuddle with your furry friends.