It's the Work from Home Wednesday before we experience our first Halloween during the pandemic. Something spooky will definitely happen on Halloween this year - we will set our clocks back one hour before bed on Halloween night! We perform this ritual every year, yet it feels different this year, doesn't it? There is almost a sense of dread and uncertainty around it this time around.
We may have survived working from home so far, in part, due to the fact that we've been in our workspaces at home during the spring and summer. We've benefitted from having lots of sunshine to help us feel positive and long days to figure out how in the world to live and work like this! With the time change coming, shorter days with less sunshine and colder weather are looming and we're wondering if we can survive this change like all the other changes we've had to master during the pandemic.
My answer is yes we can! We are going to look at the positive side and Rise Up when we Fall Back! Less sunlight can have a depressive effect and we are already feeling additional mental strain and fatigue due to the pandemic. The best strategy is to rise up early in the morning and get outside to take advantage of the extra hour of sunlight. This will boost alertness and help synchronize circadian rhythms to stay productive. It is also key to keeping our mood balanced and to helping us sleep better at night. Go for a walk or run or grab your morning coffee and sit on your porch or lanai to enjoy it. If it's too chilly, sit inside in a bright room near a window where the daylight shines in.
The next hurdle we will face as we go through our workday is the early darkness in the afternoon. No doubt, it's going to feel strange when we're working hard to wrap up our day and it suddenly seems like it's time to stop and crawl into bed. It's always been this way, hasn't it? However, when we were in the office, we had those glaring florescent lights in our workspace, the stimulation of being around colleagues, and commuting. Whether we were stuck in traffic jams or not, our commute provided a distraction from the dwindling afternoon daylight hours affected by the clock shifts.
As true Survivors, we must combat this too! Extra caffeine and naps are a quick fix for getting past the afternoon wall, but that’s usually a disaster for our natural sleep cycle. Decreasing caffeine and alcohol consumption a few days before and after the time change can make our body’s adjustment easier, so we can try to do that (true confession: I'm used to having an afternoon espresso every day). Our best strategy when darkness happens early is to turn up the lights, add some background music or scent (spray or candle) to stimulate our work environment, stand up at our desks and work or make a phone call, or even "commute" around the house for a few minutes! This will get us ready to focus on completing those last few tasks and end the workday on a high note!
Thoughts? Suggestions? I'd love to hear them! Remember, we are WFH warriors and nothing will stop us from being productive! We'll fall back and rise up too! Happy Halloween! Be safe and well.