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Springing Forward: Mindfully Maximizing the Positive Impact of the Spring Time Change

The time for us to “spring forward” is finally upon us on Sunday, March 14th. While it does mean we might technically “lose” an hour of sleep on Saturday night, the loss comes with a great gain: increasing daylight after the workday is over. With this time change comes an invitation for new evening routines and new opportunities to nourish yourself mentally and physically. What could this change mean for you?

Prior to the time change, we often hear from clients that exercising or spending time with family outdoors after work can be challenging. There is some truth to this logistical challenge! When the sun goes down by 6pm (or even earlier), it can be hard to fit in a bike ride, jog, or family walk before sunset during the work week. It is not uncommon to hear, “When it stays lighter out longer, I will _________” or “I will start exercising after work when the time changes” or even “My motivation is so much higher to do things when it is warmer and stays lighter out longer.” The time is upon us, and I would like to invite you to think about how you can mindfully maximize the positive impact of the Spring time change for your own health and care routine by doing the following:

  1. Check in with your values. Is there an area you would like to nourish more with help of the time change? Some examples might include family, physical health, or mental health.
  2. Connect that value with a specific behavioral goal. For example, if you identified “family” as a value you would like to nourish, you might set a goal to take a family walk or family bike ride together a few nights a week. Or, you might set a goal to drive to the beach or other landscape to observe a sunset together. If you identified “physical health”, you might set small, attainable goals for being more physical active after work, such as taking a 20 or 30 minute jog 1-2 times per week.
  3. Commit to your behavioral change throughcommitted action.” Once you’ve clarified your values, take action in the direction of what you care about – even in the face of obstacles! This is known as “committed action.”

Finally, don’t be afraid to reach out to others to support you in the goals you set! Research shows simply sharing your behavioral change goals verbally with others increases the odds that you will act in alignment with your stated goal. If you are a Modern Minds client, your individual counselor and Wellness Mentor are here to support you in collaboratively setting behavioral change goals and helping you commit to those goals! Reach out today and let’s work together to maximize the positive impact of the Spring time change for you!

 

By Lauren Carter, Ph.D