Europe's clocks are going back. Here's how to stay positive as the nights draw in

Gli orologi tornano indietro di un'ora in tutta Europa alle 2 del mattino di domenica ottobre 25, dando a tutti in tutto il continente un'ora in più a letto, e segnando l'inizio dell'inverno.

In the UK the clock change signals the end of British Summer Time and the beginning of Daylight Saving Time, which will last until the last Sunday in March.
But although the time change means people will get a little extra sleep on Sunday morning, there is a downside.
While Daylight Saving Time is designed to give people an hour more of daylight in the mornings, the reality is that as winter approaches and the nights draw in, many people who work indoors will find themselves starting work in the dark and finishing in the darkwith little opportunity to see sunlight.
    This can leave some people feeling blue and is when some experts say that Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) — a type of depression that comes and goes with the seasonscan take hold.
    With the coronavirus pandemic still raging across Europe and lockdown measures preventing people from socializing, this winter will feel particularly tough for some.
    But the good news is there are things you can do to help keep positive during the winter months. Read on for some mood boosting tipsthough if the winter blues start to impact your day to day lifedo reach out for some professional support.

    Get outdoors, even if just for a few minutes

    There are huge benefits to getting outdoors in the daylight each day, even if only for a few minutes. During the working week many people feel as though they are chained to their desks, but a change of scenery, even briefly, can be a real mood booster.
    Longer walks on the weekends can also help us feel reconnected to nature and are a great way to exercise.
    Sarita Robinson, Deputy Head for the School of Psychology and Computer Science at the University of Central Lancashire, says that getting out into the great outdoors can be a great way to feel more positive.
    We know that green space and blue space are very soothing, so anywhere where the environment looks pretty is actually beneficialso having a walk down to a local riverside, or if you can get to a beach,” lei dice.
    Even if you live in a city or an urban environment, getting out and looking at your surroundings can still really helpespecially if you go out with a “scopo” — for example looking at different bird species, or plant varieties.
    You can find nature in anything,” aggiunge.
    And if you find you need a mood boost when back indoors, a SAD light therapy lamp, which is said to emit bright light similar to that of the sun, but without the potentially harmful UV rays, might help.
    Light therapy lamps work by simulating sunlightalthough for best results, experts recommend shopping for a product that has an exposure of at least 10,000 lux of light.

    Improve your sleep

    The changing of the clocks can impact the body’s circadian rhythm, which regulates sleep by taking cues from the environment, including sunlight and darkness. Not getting enough sleep can significantly affect mood, making it hard to concentrate or be productive.
    There are things everyone can do to improve their chances of a good night’s sleep, such as avoiding stimulants like caffeine, alcol, and mobile phones before bed.
    Catherine Seymour, Head of Research at British charity the Mental Health Foundation, says getting enough sleep is one of the most important things a person can do to be set for the day aheadand she recommends people prioritize it.
    In un 24 hour society, lei dice, people can delay going to bed at night either to scroll on their phones or catch up with everyday tasks. But it is more important to slow down and get a good night’s sleep.
    Getting that extra hour’s sleep is going to be much more valuable to helping you cope with everything this winter is going to throw at you than an extra hour tidying the house,” lei dice.
    We tend to sometimes think that shaving an hour off of sleep can be a really efficient way of squeezing more time out of the day but in the long run that catches up with us and can damage our mental health.
    If you are someone who struggles to get to sleep, weighted blankets have also been growing in popularity for people who suffer with insomnia and anxiety. They work by making us feel more physically secure, and have been reported to ease tension, reducing levels of stress hormones in the body.
    And if you wake up feeling groggy in the mornings, a sleep lamp might help you to feel more refreshed. Similarly to light therapy lamps, sleep lamps work by mimicking sunlight. Instead of a loud, beeping alarm, a sleep lamp wakes people up as the light gets gradually brighter and brighter.

    Practice mindfulness

    Mindfulness and meditation have been proven to help people relax and approach life’s challenges with a more positive mindset. Slowing down and focusing on your surroundings can really help some people to better control their worries and anxietywhich many people are experiencing more than ever due to the coronavirus pandemic.
    Meditation needn’t take long. Taking just five minutes out of your day to unwind and focus on your breathing could help you to reset.
    CNN has a short meditation guide, which you can find Qui, that will help you release any negativity or stress and allow your body to relax.

    Get your body moving, and look after it

    Exercise not only keeps the body fit and healthy, but has been proven to improve sleep, mood, and outlook, pure.
    Getting outside and exercising is a good way of keeping your mood upand if you want to beat the blues exercising in nature is a great way to do that,” says Sarita Robinson.
    Catherine Seymour adds that even as it gets darker, colder, and rainier outside, the benefits of wrapping up and going for a walk are strong.
    There’s the old adage that there’s no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothingand almost nobody feels worse after going for a walk than they did before,” lei dice.
    In research we’ve done into how people are coping throughout the pandemic, the top coping mechanism is going for a walk and spending time in nature. We know [walking] really helps people to feel as though they can cope with the uncertainty.
    As well as staying physically active it’s also important to eat healthily.
    In times of stress and uncertainty it can feel really tempting to reach for junk foodand possibly booze, pure — but it’s really important to have a healthy, balanced diet.
    But that doesn’t mean being strict with yourself at all times. It’s important to be kind to yourself too, so have that bar of chocolate when you fancy itjust don’t forget to eat your five a day.

    Cantare, danza, and be silly

    When you’re feeling down, the idea of having fun can seem impossible, but being silly and fooling around can help us feel less glum about the world.
    Sarita Robinson says that music and a good dance help her to perk up.
    As it gets gloomy outside, another way to boost your mood with exercise is dancing while singing along to some energetic musicmusic is a really powerful mood lifter and if you’re feeling a bit down turning on the radio and rocking out to some power ballads is a great way to lift your mood. It’s one of the things I use to lift my spirits when I’m feeling a bit down,” lei dice.
    Catherine Seymour agrees that finding time for simple pleasures is a really great way to give yourself a boost.
    To let off steam, her children do a three-minute dance routine throughout the day that they callgo noodles,” lei dice — and since working from home, Seymour has been joining in.
      Getting up from your seat and just being silly is so good for your mental health and wellbeing. After three minutes I see my children sitting back down with a smileit improves everybody’s mood and just makes you realize you don’t have to get stuck down a rabbit hole of problems and seriousness,” lei dice.
      A bit of being lighthearted is goodwhether that be dancing around, watching comedy, or playing board games. Lightheartedness and silliness is a tonic.

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