November 5th and the end of Daylight Savings time is right around the corner. It’s astonishing to me every year how this one hour can wreak havoc on my family’s schedule. The kids seem to sleep differently and getting ready in the morning can be chaotic for a couple of days. It also can be difficult to stick to my regular routine. Fewer daylight hours can also really decrease my motivation. It seems like there is just never enough time.
Over the years I’ve found that just being mindful of a few quick tips can really help ease this transition in our household. In the years that I’ve let it creep up on my without any preparation I’ve always regretted it. Here are my tips! I’d love to hear in comments any other suggestions that make this time of year easier in your house!
1. Adjust Bedtimes Gradually
Starting about a week in advance of Daylight Savings time I start pulling bedtime back by about 5-10 minutes. Less noticeable changes so that when the time actually changes we are already right on schedule. I do the same in the morning, just waking up a bit earlier each day. Little added bonus to this is that that will give you a few extra moments each morning to prepare for the day!
2. Embrace the Light
Summer makes it easy to fit everything in to daylight hours. During the fall our family tends to be busier and sometimes we ca let a whole day go by without spending time outdoors. I’ve found that our transition during the end of Daylight Savings Time goes much smoother when we really make an effort to spend some time each day soaking in the sunshine and breathing in the fresh air. I try to clear a good hour or 2 in the middle of each afternoon when the sun is the brightest unscheduled and free for whatever outdoor activity strikes their fancy. It’s also a great time of year to drag out the crock pot and let it do the cooking for you. Frees up some time otherwise used for supper prep.
3. Plan Ahead for Morning
The morning can be the toughest part of adjusting to a new schedule. I really would like to say that I utilize this year round because really, what a great way to start the day planned and prepared. This time of year though I think it’s pretty crucial in our house. My inner clock is pretty persistent and there will inevitably be one morning that we just wake up late. If I have breakfast planned and prepped, clothes set out, and shoes/brushes/backpacks in place it can ease my own morning stress and tension. A stressed mom is definitely not the best way to start the day for anyone!
4. Prepare the Kiddos.
I think it’s also great to just prepare the kiddos in advance. Let them know what will be going on and why we are making these changes to our schedule. Grab a couple of books about the time change from the library so they can learn why.
What do you do to adjust to the time change? Does it affect your family’s routine? Please share any strategies you use to keep your routine on schedule.