Less Daylight? You’ll Need These Happiness Hacks

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The sudden lack of daylight the autumn and winter months still takes most of us by surprise, even if we’re happy for the extra hour of snoozing.

According to ABC News, this extra hour of sleep can make an impact on our health by disrupting our normal sleep patterns.

The best way to combat an extra or lost hour is to already have a healthy sleep regimen in place. Typically we hear less exposure to screens right before bed and a consistent bedtime routine are the secrets to better sleep.

With delayed sunrises and quicker sunsets, you’ll be spending more waking hours in the dark, especially if you adhere to a 9-5 work week. Here are some quick tips to try when you’re feeling just a little bit gloomy and less productive:

A 2012 Harvard study found that when you spend money on someone else, you’re likely to feel immediately happier. Thanks to a positive feedback loop, the person you’ve helped out (even in a small way!) will get a serotonin boost as well. Implement this in your work life by offering to pick up the tab on a quick lunch, or making a donation to a local charity your company supports.

If you’re lucky enough to have a team that knows how to joke with each other and get the job done, microbreaks will be easy to implement. Open up a Slack chat just for funny reaction gifs, or for videos of raccoons eating grapes with their little hands.  You’re literally jolting your brain with a healthy dose mood-enhancing hormones, which will make it easier to finish or start an important task.


It might sound a little crazy to put a little more on your plate when you’re feeling a little more tired than usual. Think of it as furthering your interests and setting yourself up for a rewarding challenge. When people spend time doing activities that increase their competency, they feel empowered. Try memory improving games like Lumosity or build an entirely new, in-demand skill with CodeAcademy.

How do you remain engaged and positive during the colder winter months? What new skills will you try in the New Year?

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