Valley mental health professional gives advice on navigating the time change

For many, the time change brings on Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Published: Nov. 4, 2022 at 4:07 PM EDT
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FISHERSVILLE, Va. (WHSV) - Daylight Saving Time ends Sunday, Nov. 6. Everyone gets another hour of sleep when we “fall back.”

That also means, for a lot of people, it will be getting dark on the way home from work.

That shift can be hard to get used to. For many, the time change brings on Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Andrea Kendall, Licensed Clinical Social Worker with Augusta Health, said maintaining a consistent schedule, practicing good sleep habits, working out and taking time to unwind can help you as you make the switch.

“It’s not a replacement for the extra sunlight, but it’s important to be intentional about getting yourself out in the sun, even five or ten minutes a day, just bundle up and get out there, get some sunlight and some fresh air,” Kendall said.

Even though sleeping more is always nice, shifting the schedule can cause disruptions in normal functionality. Give yourself time to adjust.

“It’s normal if it takes you like a month to get used to this change because we really sort of manage our worries and all of those things with our routine and our structure and our predictability, so any change can be hard to take,” she said.

However, if you don’t feel yourself adjusting in that period of time, talk to a doctor about what you’re experiencing. Kendall said they may recommend medication to help navigate the winter months.