Coping with the Effects of Daylight Savings Time During COVID

By: Dr. David McIntosh

If you are like me, you are looking forward to the upcoming Spring Forward of the Daylight Savings Time! Getting that extra hour of daylight at the end of the day is nice! However, I am not looking forward to adjusting to the time change. Personally, the Spring time change is much harder for me compared to the Fall time change. And, I anticipate that it will be harder due to the pandemic (and this seemingly endless winter) this year.  The pandemic has changed how we start and end our days. For many of us, I also think it has changed when we eat, what we eat, and the amount of time we spend outside.  For those of us who exercise, our exercise routines have been dramatically changed (e.g., We have to schedule workout times instead of going to the gym when you want.).  Also, as I have mentioned in a previous blog, I can definitely tell my teenagers routines have changed due to the pandemic and I am definitely not looking forward to having to push them as they adjust during the first couple of weeks.

Anyhow, I have been doing some research and found a couple of websites that focus on how to cope with the effects of daylight saving time. Here are a few you might explore:

https://www.fishertitus.org/health/how-to-cope-with-the-effects-of-daylight-saving-time

https://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/features/coping-with-time-changes

https://familysleepinstitute.com/2020/01/08/how-to-help-your-child-adjust-with-the-time-change/

https://parents-together.org/4-tips-to-help-students-adjust-to-daylight-saving-time-this-weekend/

There are literally hundreds of links for parents and teachers to explore. The ones above are just a few I found interesting and potentially you might find helpful.

In thinking on how I plan to tackle daylight savings time this spring, I am going to try the following:

  1. I am going to try and be patient with myself and others. I think we will need to have more patience with our kids and with students during the first week after the time change.
  2. I am going to work harder at preparing myself for the time change.
  3. I am going to work harder at preparing my kids and recommend teachers do the same with their students.
  4. Be more forgiving with myself if I don’t exactly follow the plan and I recommend teachers also be a little more forgiving with students. If a student struggles to turn in an assignment on time or is late to class, it might be nice to just move on and not dwell on it.
  5. I am going to be more hopeful…hopeful that the Spring will bring better days, that the time change will bring more opportunities to get outside in the evening, and more hopeful that there will be increasing opportunities to reconnect with friends.

So, bring on the time change and let’s look at it as turning a new page on life and putting the pandemic in our rearview mirrors!

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