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5 ways to get the most of your day when the days are getting shorter

Updated: Mar 29


Schedule activities when the days are shorter

We, Queenslanders, are blessed with the weather. Autumn is just around the corner, and for many, that means the days will get pleasantly cooler and the summer’s humidity will be gone. I personally love the Summer and don’t mind the heat. And for me, autumn means a jumper and a hot drink in the evening!


The beginning of autumn also means that the days will get shorter. But this shouldn’t stop you from staying active, eating nourishing foods, or having good quality sleep. You can still attend to your normal activities, but I suggest amending your daily calendar to make the most out of the daylight.


Why?


Everything in nature changes, nothing really stays still, neither should you. Sticking to your health and wellness goals will only work if you make it part of your lifestyle.

So how do you do it? Here are my 5 takes!


But before we start, have you joined my FREE, PRIVATE Facebook Group: Accelerate with Anna Doktor: A Health and Wellness Goals Building Community for the busy professionals so you can take your health and wellness to the next level? Click HERE to join NOW.



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1. Adjust your circadian rhythms

There are several internal clocks that regulate our biological reactions. One of the most common clocks is the sleep-wake cycle, also called the circadian clock.


Your inner clock (aka the circadian clock) is reset daily by light. Because it is linked to your sleep and wake cycle, it means that you need to adjust the time you wake up and the time you go to bed.

Why is it important that you synchronize your circadian clock?


First of all, by having this clock running smoothly (like the Swiss watch) you can improve your sleep patterns. To have the energy to carry on with your daily tasks and to have the focus and attention you need to accomplish your goals you need to be rested.


Secondly, as with any good clock, it needs to be adjusted to different seasons. You will wake up at a different time during summer than the winter. And you will go to bed later during Summer when the day is longer, whereas, in the cooler months, you may opt for going to bed earlier.


I get up around 5ish am during Summer, or sometimes even earlier because we get our first light at around 4ish in the morning. But Queensland doesn’t get light to around 6 am in autumn and winter.


Therefore, I’ll be adjusting my circadian clock to reflect the season.



2. Plan any outdoors activities before work

If you work in the traditional profession, most of your day will be spent indoors. Therefore, to enjoy the sunlight, make sure that you make a habit of starting the day with some outdoor activities.


For those who like to sleep in, autumn is a great time to catch the sunrise, because the first daylight appears later. And we know how mood-boosting seeing those first rays of the Sun are! The beauty and awe of it will put you in a positive state for the rest of your day.


I love mornings and I’m a big advocate of having a morning routine because the beginning of your day will decide what kind of day you will have. But morning may also be the only time during your day when you see the daylight, so make the most out of it.


And if finding a pocket of time for yourself in the morning is not feasible for you at this current moment, make a habit of leaving for work 10 minutes earlier. Spend those precious 10 minutes before you go into the office, simply taking deep breaths and enjoying the beginning of a day.



3. Plan any indoor activities after dark

The evenings may start to get a little bit longer, so any activities such as reading, going to the indoor gym, having a massage, or even doing shopping can be moved to afternoons and evenings. Many activities are performed indoors, so scheduling them for the time during the day when natural light is not required is a great way of making the most out of your day.


Engaging in an activity that you particularly enjoy and that supports your well-being is another way you can embrace the longer evenings. If you usually don’t have the time to cook dinners, autumn may be a good time to make it a habit. The aroma of cooked food in a cozy environment may be all that you need after a long day in the office.



4. Make the most out of your lunch break

If your mornings are already accounted for, and you possibly cannot do any body movement first thing in your day, make sure that you catch some sun rays during your lunch break.


I know how you are feeling.


You are already thinking that Gosh Anna, I don’t even take my lunch break! Taking a lunch break or not is your personal choice. And I can’t comment on it. However, we are talking about your health and wellness here. Making sure that you have some break, no matter for how long, during your day is crucial. Stepping away from your desk, stretching your legs, and getting some fresh air will not only help you to boost your mood but also will make you more productive. And isn’t that what you want? To accomplish all the tasks for the day in the most efficient way?


Don’t overestimate the power of stress breaks, they can literally save your day! (Read HERE about it if you missed it 3 hacks to be more productive)



5. Slow down

Everything in nature has a season. And if you are a fellow gardener, you know what I’m talking about! Autumn is just another season that has its own set of rules. In a way, it is nature’s way of telling us to start getting ready for winter, the rest season.


I don’t particularly like it, because I’m an action-orientated person, but I’m finding that the more I resist slowing down, the harder it is for me to stay focused and be productive.


So, to make the most of your day, it is good to take stock of what you have going on, what projects are to be carried over to the next season, and what tasks may need to hibernate. That does not mean that you will accomplish less, it actually means the opposite. You will intentionally be completing things that matter to you most. And that is the best way to get to the finish line.


After all, we are part of nature, and aligning our busy schedules with the seasons needs to be a part of it too.



Conclusions

Many of us will welcome autumn enjoying the temperature cooling off. But the beginning of autumn also indicates that our days are starting to get shorter.


Only because the day is shorter, doesn’t mean you can’t stay on track with your health and wellness goals. Making a few tweaks to your schedule will have you making the most out of your day.


Adjust your internal clock aka circadian clock to reflect the daylight hours. Synchronize your sleep and wake-up times so they fit within your lifestyle and the season but still allow you to get a good night’s sleep.


Plan your indoor and outdoor activities accordingly so you make the most of the light during your mornings and you do any activities which do not require natural light in the evenings.


And if getting that well-deserved sun rays in the morning is tricky for you at the moment, use your lunchtime! I know it can be hard to have a lunch break on some days, but the more often you give yourself a stress break the more energy you will have.


Autumn is a season when Nature tells us to start preparing for winter, so slow down. Reflecting on what is happening in your life, what can be delegated for later in the year, and focusing on what matters the most to you during this coming season, will make you feel accomplished no matter what.


So, how are you going to make the most of your autumn days?


Are you part of my community? Join HERE my PRIVATE, FREE Facebook Group: Accelerate with Anna Doktor: A Health and Wellness Goals Building Community for the busy professionals to accelerate your health and wellness!



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