Full disclosure: I came into work today a little grumpy. It’s Monday and that’s pretty much just the way of the world. But, this Monday is particularly challenging because it’s one of the first days after the start of Daylight Saving Time. My body clock is still off and I’m definitely feeling the effects of losing that hour of sleep.
But this morning, as I got some (much needed) coffee with a few of my co-workers, one of them was bouncier and more enthusiastic than usual. He loves loves loves Daylight Saving Time. He sees so much possibility in the extra hour of sunlight every day. After a little back and forth about the pros and cons of the time change, I started to see the error of my ways. Begrudging Daylight Saving Time because of losing an hour of sleep one night is short-sighted; I need to think long-term.
Once the coffee started churning through my veins, my brain kicked into gear and I thought of a few ideas for how to spend that extra time in the sun:
- Get moving! Sign up for a class. Go for a walk with a friend. Take the dog for a longer walk. Join a recreational league. Start training for a 5k later in the Spring (I include that one to hold myself accountable. I signed up for a race in May and at this point, it won’t be much of a race. It will be more like a leisurely stroll through the city if I don’t get going on a training regimen.).
- Prep your yard and/or garden for spring. Collect fallen branches and pick up any leaves that may have fallen after your leaf collection last fall. When the weather gets really nice, you’ll be all set to put down mulch and plant new flowers.
- Outdoor happy hour. Alright, it might still be a tad too chilly to go for this one just yet, but keep in mind when the warmth is back for good. Grab your co-workers or friends, find a good deal, and enjoy each other’s company and the changing weather. Soak up the sun and some tasty beverages!
- Visit local parks. During those cold winter months, for many of us, it’s already dark when we get to quittin’ time at work. Some of us have commutes that take us by local, state and federal parks with those taunting signs that read “Park closes at dusk.” We bow our heads in sadness and let a single tear roll down our cheek because when Daylight Saving Time ends, there’s no chance we’ll ever make it to these parks, even on nice, moderate days. Well, guess what? Dusk is an hour later now! Take advantage!
- Spring cleaning. Open up the windows, let in the sun, and let it shine light on just how much cleaning and de-cluttering you could do in your home. This might seem like a daunting task, but just tackle one room, or one part of a room per day. Rifle through mail that has been piling up. Purge the junk drawer. Clear off one flat surface. Dust your shelves. Thin out your closet. Switch out winter clothes for spring and summer items.
- Work on your resume. I don’t know about you, but when it’s dark early during the winter, it’s a lot easier for me to be lazy when I won’t feel guilty about not being outside on a nice day. Spring is a time for fresh starts, right? If you’re feeling stagnant in your job, or are just ready to try something new, use the extra daylight to work on your résumé. Capitalize on the “feeling” of a new beginning and channel it into your résumé. If it’s nice enough, grab your laptop and work on it outside.
- Start (or finish) a project. Do you have a home improvement project you’ve been putting off? Use your hour to check it off of your to-do list. Since our bodies take their cues from the sun, we have more time to run errands, get whatever materials a project might require, and then put in some work before your bed starts calling to you.
I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself when it comes to thoughts of spring and sunshine. After all, I slipped on a patch of black ice just this morning. But, thinking of some fun ways to take advantage of an extra hour of daylight for the next few months certainly makes it easier to get over losing an hour of sleep once a year…and it gives me something to be enthused about besides the fact that the clock in my car is finally “right” again!
Mackenzie Wiley is part of the GovLoop Featured Blogger program, where we feature blog posts by government voices from all across the country (and world!). To see more Featured Blogger posts, click here.
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