Ok, who's the genius who thought that turning our clocks back an hour, prolonging winter’s darkness even more, was such a swell idea?
Turns out, it was Benjamin Franklin, in 1784, when he proposed it in a satirical essay. According to scholars at The Franklin Institute "He merely suggested Parisians change their sleep schedules to save money on candles and lamp oil."
Regardless of the tongue-in-cheek nature of the suggestion, the idea of "daylight-saving" was kicked around for more than a century until New Zealander George Hudson took it and ran with it.
Fitting more daylight into our days is typically welcome, but the sudden switch to darkness when we "fall back" in autumn causes trouble for some folks. Fortunately, there are some simple tricks to help us get through it.
Let Lighting Do the Heavy Lifting
Seasonal affective disorder, or SAD for short, "...is a type of depression that's related to changes in seasons," according to the professionals at MayoClinic.org. "Symptoms start in the fall and continue into the winter months..."
One of the treatments for SAD is a bright, light-emitting box. But you don’t have to suffer from seasonal affective disorder to benefit from increased lighting in your home this winter.
Open heavy drapes when you're home during the daytime. Ensure windows and screens are clean to allow maximum levels of natural light to flood the home. You can also add more lamps and other lighting to the home to banish the darkness and gloom. For an added punch, increase the number of mirrors on the walls. They’ll help reflect existing light.
Bring the Outdoors in
The houseplant trend has been going on for years, and the pandemic put it on steroids. If you haven’t already joined the plant party, this winter might be a great time to give it a try.
"Indoor plants have drawn the attention of the scientific community because of their various benefits," according to Min-sun Lee, Juyoung Lee, Bum-Jin Park, and Yoshifumi Miyazaki, authors of a study published in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology.
These benefits include:
- Stress reduction
- Improved mood
- Enhancement of cognitive health
Interaction with your plants is key to receiving these benefits, so go plant shopping, then vow to transplant, water, and generally hover over your leaf babies all winter. For an added boost in mood, add some colorful, flowering plants to your shopping cart as well.