While I'm absolutely thrilled to gain an extra hour of sleep when the clocks fall back on Nov. 4 for Daylight Saving Time,
I'm not looking forward quite as much to the shortened hours of sunlight that winter will soon usher in. Perhaps you've already noticed the darkness starting to creep in earlier and earlier in the evenings. Personally, as someone who loves sunshine more than almost anything, I know I'm going to miss the long, languid days of summer sun. Luckily, though, there are a few easy ways to get more sunlight in your life and take advantage of every beautiful ray the sky has to offer, even in the cold, dark depths of winter.
I don't know about you, but I used to think that on overcast days, there was basically no point in spending time outside because the sunlight was mostly hidden behind the clouds. But, according to
Cosmopolitan, dark clouds still allow about 32 percent of the sun's rays to peek through, while white clouds let in as much as 89 percent of the sun's light.
So even if it looks a little dreary outside, pull your work BFF out for a walk to a nearby coffee shop, or buy a couple of herbs to grow on your apartment balcony. Once you start being mindful about soaking in the sun as much as possible, it'll be that much easier to make these tips part of your regular routine.
The first light in the morning is some of the most beautiful, in my opinion, because it can really set your mood for the rest of the day.
So this winter, whenever you get the chance, try to leave your house a little earlier than usual to invite some extra walking or biking time into your routine, which will allow you to spend some quality time with the sun. And if you're
really running late one morning, hop on a Bird scooter so you can get to work as quickly as possible and enjoy some sunshine.
Switch to a desk by the window
If I had to guess, you probably spend the majority of your day inside a building at work or school, so any little tweak you can make to bring sunshine into your day could make a huge difference. Depending on the structure of your office or school, you might be able to switch to a desk closer to a window. Check in with your boss, office manager, teacher, whoever you need to consult, about any vacant desks you might be able to snag.
If moving isn't really a possibility, look into adding a small
light therapy box to your workspace. Developed to mimic your body's response to natural light, this might be a good solution if you find yourself craving extra sunshine throughout the day.
I love eating outside as often as I can because it's such a nice opportunity to disconnect from the work day. Something about
hearing the birds and walking across grass can really ground you and help you return to the day's to-do list with a renewed sense of peace.
So the next time the weather is decent, try picnicking with a pal instead of eating lunch at your desk. And even if you didn't have time to pack a meal, no worries — just ask to sit outside at your favorite restaurant, or get your food to-go.
I'm definitely one of those people who can't run indoors on a treadmill to save my life. If you can relate, taking your workout outside might be a great way to bring more sunshine into your day.
If you're looking for something more scenic, try going for a weekend hike. You might not have the free time to trek through nature on a daily basis, but making a point to hit a nearby trail checks off your physical activity for the day,
and it fulfills your sunshine quota at the same time. The benefits of taking care of plants are plentiful, and they aren't just available to people with a backyard. If you're a city-dweller with an apartment balcony, start to cultivate your own little herb garden outside. The ritual of watering your plants and checking them for dead leaves or pests will give you a great excuse to go out in the sunshine, plus you'll have some free fresh produce for dinner.
If you don't have access to outdoor space in your living situation, research nearby community gardens so that you can find a little plot of earth to call your own.