Transitioning out of Winter Funk as we Spring Forward

Now that we've officially sprung forward, a psychologist offers tips to get out of that winter funk and enjoy the extra sunshine.

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CLEVELAND – Daylight saving time has arrived and that can be a tough adjustment for some.

Research has shown that one hour change can disrupt a person’s sleep and even cause car accidents due to fatigue.

However, on the positive side, that extra sunshine can help with mental health.

“You get extra sunshine when you leave work and I think that’s great. More opportunity to get outside, more opportunity to do more fun outdoor activities, cook outside, things like that that I think can offset any negative impacts on sleep and mental well-being,” said Dawn Potter, PsyD, psychologist for Cleveland Clinic.

Dr. Potter said if you are having a hard time transitioning out of that winter funk, there are some easy things you can do.

For example, she recommends starting a new exercise routine, which can boost your mood.

Another suggestion is to add healthier foods to your diet, or start making plans for things you want to do as the weather warms, like creating a garden or doing some redecorating.

Many people may also be more inclined to “hibernate” during the colder months and not be as social.

Dr. Potter said now would be a good time to reconnect with friends.

“The warmer weather can lead to get-togethers with friends on patios, or you know exercise with friends and do other activities that you didn’t feel quite like cleaning the snow off your car to go out and do,” she said.

Dr. Potter said if you find yourself having trouble transitioning out of that winter funk and are feeling depressed or lacking energy, you should speak with a mental health professional.

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