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Spring Forward with Ease - Tips for a Smooth Daylight Saving Time Transition

Updated: Mar 27


As March tiptoes onto the horizon, bringing with it the promise of spring, we find ourselves on the cusp of daylight saving time transition under two weeks away. On March 10th, at 2 am, the clock will spring forward, ushering in a schedule shift for the next eight months. Recognizing the inconvenience of losing an hour of sleep and the ensuing disruption to our internal clocks, let's explore practical ways to prepare for a smooth transition during this time of the year.

Below are some suggestions curated from articles and personal experiences designed to help you navigate this time shift with ease and style. Whether these strategies are new to you, sound familiar to you from a close friend or relative, or are techniques you already excel in, I hope this list proves valuable in enhancing your existing good habits and/or fostering the development of new ones.


I'm also interested in any special techniques you use to navigate the daylight saving time transition. If you have insights or methods dear to your heart that are not covered in this list, feel free to share and comment below!


Let's Spring Forward with Ease


1. Approach With A Positive Mindset

Prioritize approaching this time shift with positivity and understanding. First, it is normal to recognize some light unease with the concept of time change and even a touch of insomnia leading to it. And ruminating about the anticipated loss of an hour will most likely have a negative impact on your sleep quality and your outlook on the day that follows.

Reframing the "one-hour loss" narrative of the spring daylight saving time could help our mental health tremendously during the week of March 10th.


Try the following reframing exercises:


  • Consider the hour a shift of sunlight allocation from the morning to the evening so that you can embrace longer outdoor exercise time such as hiking, canoeing, and running leading to the end of the day for a healthier lifestyle.

  • Take an eco-conscious frame of reference that daylight saving is a sustainability-friendly strategy that reduces energy consumption by decreasing the need for artificial lighting in the evening.

  • Turn the "one-hour loss" into "a gained opportunity" by planning a get-together with friends. Basking in the natural warmth of sunlight while strolling for a leisurely coffee on the Sunday of a new beginning sounds more than lovely, don't you think?


Embracing the shift with understanding and optimism contributes to a more enjoyable adjustment and allows us to make the most of the evolving daylight hours with a cheerful heart.


2. Make Your Proactive Adjustment Plan

To gently advance your schedules, practicing shifting your bedtime 20 minutes earlier in increments with one day to adapt in between for the week leading up to Sunday. It can help sync your internal body rhythm with the impeding environmental time shift.


The proactive adjustment method I find helpful takes me exactly a week to complete a one-hour bedtime shift. You are more than welcome to modify it to your own liking.


Here is my plan:


On March 3rd, the Sunday before, go to bed at 11 pm as usual. The bedtime will be at 10:40 pm on Monday and Tuesday that follows. For Wednesday and Thursday nights, a 10:20 pm bedtime will be observed. Finally, the bedtime will be brought to 10 pm on Friday and Saturday nights. I will be effortlessly asleep by 11 pm post-daylight saving when the night falls on Sunday.


A proactive adjustment plan fosters a consistent and gradual transition in your sleep schedule and brings a comforting flow to your daily routine. Remember to align meal times accordingly to support this adjustment further and add that touch of consideration to your well-prepared transition!


3. Craft a Serene Day and Night Routine

In crafting a serene and intentional routine for the transition into Daylight Saving Time, prioritizing evening and daytime practices is essential.


As the evening approaches, incorporate soothing practices into your nighttime routine. Start by treating yourself to a soothing hot bath or shower, creating a peaceful ambience for your body to unwind. Lower the house temperature slightly. Embrace a device-free approach before bedtime. Dedicate 20 to 30 minutes to meditation to invite tranquility into your headspace, promising a seamless transition into a restful night.


On the day of the time change, emphasize exposure to natural sunlight. From the very morning, open the curtains and allow the soft morning light to permeate your living space. Let the soft embrace of sunlight gently stir your senses, signaling the start of a vibrant and refreshing day.

Throughout the day, maintain mindfulness and embrace flexibility. Stay attuned to moments when you might feel slightly behind schedule, approaching these instances with kindness and making adaptations as needed. Your mental well-being remains important, reflected in thoughtful decisions like relieving your Sunday schedule from heavy meetings and laborious tasks.


Springing forward into daylight saving time without strategies is like going on a time-traveling adventure without the DeLorean – it simply won't work! So, pack some self-compassion along with your personalized adjustment plans, savor the sunlight, and let this transition be the highlight of your very own time-bending saga.

 

By: Vero Sun

Mental Health Counseling Intern


References:

Blackwell, C. (2022, March 9th). How to survive daylight saving time. The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/wirecutter/blog/how-to-survive-daylight-saving-time/

Crouch , M., & Gwinn, A. (2023, November 1st). 7 tips for surviving The fall daylight saving time change. AARP. https://www.aarp.org/health/healthy-living/info-2020/daylight-saving-time-switch.html

Fridel, K. (2022, March 9th). 6 tips to help you spring forward. HealthPartners Blog. https://www.healthpartners.com/blog/6-tips-to-help-you-spring-forward/

Suni, E. (2024, January 18th). Tips for the start and end of daylight saving time. Sleep Foundation. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/circadian-rhythm/how-to-prepare-for-daylight-saving-time

 


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