16 Ways to Beat the Daylight Savings Time Blues - Christine Kane

Everyone I’ve talked with today is feeling “behind.” Of course we are! We’re smarter than our clocks. We’re used to angles of light, patterns of sleep, and rhythms of work. We feel certain it’s 2pm, and we look at the clock and get shocked that we’re late for our 3:00 appointment. Some people feel downright angry and resentful at this whole time manipulation thing.

Transitions can be challenging, for sure. And this one’s weird because it’s so seemingly small and ridiculous. “It’s only an hour! Why is this getting to me?”

Here’s the deal with the time change: It’s something that HAPPENS TO your life. It doesn’t just happen once, like an airline delay that sets you back. It keeps showing up throughout the days. And if you’re not being conscious, it can put you into a reaction spin for a while. You might feel like you’re just “keeping up.”

These ideas (well, most of them) are designed to bring you back to proactive mode, so that you can happen to your day. Not the other way around.

1 – Be really really nice to yourself.

This is the first one because it’s the most important one. Lots of us forget this one when we’re in the midst of change. It seems like the rest of the world just chugs along at its usual pace while you feel frantic and left behind. Just set your intent for kindness. And realize that you’re not alone, and that you’ll get momentum again.

2 – Get carry-out for dinner.

If you typically cook for yourself or your family, take a break one night this week and get something made for you. It buys you a little bit of time. And you don’t have to clean up! (If you’re like me in the kitchen, this is a big bonus!)

3 – Wake up an hour early.

I know, I know. You might already feel tired as it is. But getting an early start can get you back on track and feeling ahead again.

4 – Meditate.

One of the most proactive things you can do is to go within. Even if (especially if!) you feel like you don’t have a second to spare, and that everything will cave in if you step back, you’ll benefit from even 10 minutes of meditation. You’ll change the energy of the “how’s” of your day if you center and get still again.

5 – Eat dinner outside.

This is for those of us living in the south, I know. Put a blanket on the deck, or just wipe down the furniture quickly. Sit outside and enjoy the later sunset.

6 – Have “more than enough time.”

Your affirmation for the day: “I have lots and lots of time.” Or “I have more than enough time.” Or, “I have boatloads of time.” Say it lots. Say it in a way that works for you. Next time you look at the clock, say, “Dang! It’s EARLY! I’m doing great!”

7 – Take your dog for a walk after dinner.

You’ll feel better. And your dog will be very happy at the unexpected walk. And we all know that it’s all about the dog anyway.

8 – Segment intend.

(This is a concept from Ask and It is Given, one of my favorite books.) This is a time when it’s especially important to focus on each activity as you do it. Get clear before beginning a new segment of your day. “I’m going to write a blog now, and for the next two hours, I’m going to write with happiness and have fun.” Or, “I’m going to sleep peacefully and deeply until 6AM, and I’ll wake up excited to begin a new day.” Segment intending is about clarity of purpose. When you’re in reaction mode, you’re not putting yourself in a position of power or clarity. Shift that and do some segment intending.

9 – Do something creative.

There’s no better way to cure frantic than getting lost in creativity. Write a letter. Make a fantastic dinner. Write a poem. Write a blog. Paint a postcard and send it to someone. In other words, get out of your head and into your hands. (Not to be confused with “Get out of my dreams and into my car.”)

10 – Eat a very light dinner.

When you’ve had a frantic day, it’s tempting to see the “Get Carry-Out” idea and think, “Yea. I deserve carry-out. I’m going to Carrabbas.” An order of Mezzaluna Ravioli and a half plate of fried calamari later, and you’re wiped out, not feeling much like deserving anymore. Do yourself a big favor. Eat really light at dinner time. Then you can go to bed early and wake up excited for a new day.

11 – Choose peace.

I love the affirmation from The Course In Miracles, “I could see peace instead of this.” It’s something you say when you find yourself spinning emotionally or mentally out of control. I’ve changed it to say, “I can choose peace instead of this.” This is a great affirmation for those moments when you feel crazy behind. Just choose peace.

12 – Go to bed by 9pm.

This makes some people laugh out loud. But you really should figure out a way to try it. Life coach Cheryl Richardson suggests that once a week, everyone should go to bed by 9pm. It’s a life-changer. I love it. And this week, it might be imperative.

13 – Blame the government.

Okay, this doesn’t do anything. But some people like to do it.

14 – Have fun.

When was the last time you swang on the swings? (Swang’s a word when you’re a kid.) Or put on some rollerblades? Or went to a stupid movie? In order to honor the #1 idea above, you have to let loose just a little. Go have fun. Call a friend. Take a walk. Do something that makes you happy. (Besides the Mezzaluna ravioli.)

15 – Make an agreement with your spouse or roommate.

Have a secret contract that allows you to blame each other for all acts of tardiness this week. “My wife forgot to set the clock back!” (If you were at my retreat, this isn’t what I was doing on Sunday morning! We really did forget to set the clock in the bedroom!)

16 – Enforce a “no complaining” rule.

Focusing on the “problem” only perpetuates it. Make a rule. Start right now this very instant. No more complaining about the time change. You’ve moved on. You’re beyond it. You now have more than enough time, lots of peace, and full permission from me to go to bed before 9:00 tonight!

  • m

    thanks Christine I’ll go and look for that blog!

  • Amanda

    Those were great tips. I love the one that we all should go to bed by 9 pm once a week.I am going to do that this week. Haven’t done it before.



  • palmtreechick

    No eating dinner outside here…we’re supposed to get a lot of snow/ice/rain…the lovely “Mixed bag” of precipitation! In fact, maybe I should skip dinner all together.

  • Christine Kane

    Hi Danielle, Thanks for the link to Scott’s post. It’s great. And you’re welcome!

    m, I used to have a majorly hard time in the fall with turning the clocks back. (I have a song called “If I Were Me” that references that very thing.) Now, I just light candles all over the place as soon as it gets dark. And I revel in the feeling of being done for the day, and I let myself relax! Somewhere in here I have a post about the shifting of day into night and how much anxiety it can cause. (along with a list of what to do!)

    Ghostrose, I hear ya! My friend Kathy has a few rants every spring! thanks for stopping by…

  • Ghostrose

    *Screams* I hate it when the clocks go forward! I’ve had a campaign for three years running to ban it in my house. Doesn’t work though.

  • m

    Christine our clocks haven’t changed here yet (scotland) but I have the worst time in the autumn where it feels like to me that we suddenly get plunged into darkness. I hope you will write about coping with that. My biggest strategy is to get a part time job so I don’thave to work during all thelight hours.

  • Danielle


    I was reading Scott Ginsberg’s Blog recently and loved his ‘Two Words’ post – it fits so well with what you’ve suggested here and really helped me focus thru my ‘tardy panic’ this week.

    He suggests using the concept of “Until Now” instead of “I’ve always” to break patterns and “What’s Next?” as a constant go-to mantra (very similar to so much of what you’ve written in prior posts). So, instead of me feeling frustrated because my day is going badly, I just tell myself firmly “Until now, my day has gone badly but What’s Next is to tackle this little project with ease”.

    Its such an easy tie in and reminder for me to Segment Intend (and just two little words for my oft-rattled brain).

    Thanks for yet another great post!

  • Christine Kane

    Hi Tammy, It was an honor and joy to have you there. And everyone loved your work. i just got an email from one of the participants talking about how moved she was by your pieces. Thanks for the kind words and for linking me. Can’t wait to read your blog!

    Joy, Well, if you’re gonna say “Dang,” then make sure you say it with about six syllables…like my husband would!

    Michelle, Oh that’s right… you Alaskans are VERY excited this time of year!

    Thanks Anne. I should “tidy up” more in my yard. I live in the woods though…and everything looks fine as is! (i guess!)

    Hey Joe, I’m really glad that helped! Wait until you experience the benefits!

    Barb… I like the idea of being in a different time zone this time of year. Maybe we can all go see Michelle in Alaska!

  • barb b

    this year the “change” hasn’t bothered me, I was in a different time zone and had to set my watch to that time and then just fix the clocks at home. maybe I should be in another time zone every year. And many of you know that i take #12 to heart.

  • Joe

    “When you’re in reaction mode, you’re not putting yourself in a position of power or clarity.”

    I really like the way you put Segment Intention in context… it makes so much more sense to me, and I can see why I’ve had so much difficulty with it, b/c I’m often in reaction mode. Thanks again Christine.

  • Anne

    The absolute best thing about the South (except perhaps fried okra), is the whole ‘sitting on the porch’ thing. It is not considered wasting time or loafing about – it is important work and to be embarked upon whenever possible. I am happy to adhere to this cultural necessity, and the other night, I took a glass of crisp white wine out there to sit in a rocking chair and watch the sunset over the mountains (which is a view we don’t have when the leaves come in). It makes me soooo happy about the time change.

    At 7am, in the dark, however, I will be employing Christine’s tips for beating the time change blues!

    PS. Rushing home and spending an hour in the garden just ‘tidying up’ is a great way of appreciating the time change too.
    PPS. ‘Tidying up’ means muddling around doing whatever you want while pretending you are a master gardener.

  • Michelle

    Good tips–at least we’re getting more daylight no matter how you measure it.

  • Joy

    thanks for the reminder about segment intending. it works really well for me when i remember to do it. oh and…

    i’m replacing “dog-gone-it” with “dang” just for today. my husband finds my accent and figures of speech that are remnants of growing up in the 50’s and early 60’s (a simpler time) in a small town in the country endearing (read funny.) he should get a big kick out of, “dang.”

  • tammy vitale

    You mean 9 pm isn’t everyone’s regular bedtime? Well, I’m *really* ahead then! I’ve got this one down pat!

    Sang your praises over at my blog this a.m. The retreat is staying with me and working…7 Sisters decided no, which was a great opportunity to restate to myself and the Universe my intent of pursuing art and turning down that job anyway. Thanks for making a space so I can see clearly (and bring it home and still feel it even now!)

  • Christine Kane

    Hi Susanne. Yes, I guess that’s a theme. Sometimes it’s just because we need to remember to give ourselves a break, and we don’t even realize that we’re pushing too hard! I’m glad the praying helped.

  • Susanne

    Have you noticed that almost every of your little “how to”-lists starts with “be nice to yourself”? So, I should definitely keep that in mind. As I will keep this post when we’re changing time here next weekend.

    Oh, and thanks for the praying last weekend, it really made a difference.