|Time for a Time-Out?|
'It picks me up' - Kerr, Thatcher & Barrett
If you're like me, the clocks going back an hour this weekend heralds a world of darkness and misery. But maybe there’s a simple answer to ‘Seasonal Adjustment Disorder’ commonly know as SAD. If SAD darkens your mood I’m sure any glimmer of light that can shine in and brighten your outlook, improve your mental well-being and increase your fitness has surely got to be a winner?
The history of Daylight Saving Time is most interesting and I can remember the government tests of the late sixties where the clocks didn’t go back and school-children, like me, were given light-reflecting armbands to wear to school as it was still pitch black. The problem was that in Scotland it didn't get light until 10am, so no wonder it was scrapped eh? I won't even go into Double Daylight Saving of the war years and I'm sure we had some kind of extended daylight hours in the hot summer of 1976 but I can't find anything to substantiate my memory of that so I could be wrong on that one...maybe you remember?
Anyway, back to the plot and here’s a suggestion for you that’s a clear winner, it’s called a ‘Lunchtime’. Do you remember them? They're a bit of an endangered species of nowadays as work pressure to please bosses has made folk yield to 'Desk-Duty' working hours - You know, having to be seen to be in the office to show commitment and the rise of even worse 'Desk-Dining' whilst typing to catch up on somewhat more exciting out-of-work activities. As for eating dinner on the train home - Yuk!
Well, I've got news for you, we're finding that in our Average2Awesome Programmes that people are much happier when they take a proper lunchtime and go for a walk especially with their colleagues. Their mood is lighter and productivity levels are much greater in the afternoon. It would appear that a good blast of Vitamin D plus lots of fresh O2 has been making a huge difference to all of our A2A Groups and it's now become a regular part of their working day.
Let’s face it, going to work in the dark, toiling away in artificial light and going home again when it's dark, is enough to make anyone gloomy so why not take the ‘Lunchtime Daylight Challenge?’ Dust off your FitBits and clock up some steps as there’s nothing like the feeling of warm sunlight on your skin - all life comes from the Sun, so it’s no wonder that we don’t function so well without it.
I’m not suggesting you go all Pagan on me here but I for one will be making sure that I’m taking better ‘Winter Sunshine Breaks’ every day or should I say 'Lunchtimes' from now on, (Cardiff weather permitting) in an attempt to keep my SAD at bay as December 21st can't come quick enough so the daylight hours can start drawing out once more.
Until then, go on and give it a go. ‘Clock off’ at lunchtime, like we all used to and see if it makes a difference this Winter.
Rory Coleman - firstname.lastname@example.org
1,001 Marathons - 244 Ultras - 14 Marathon des Sables - 9 Guinness World Records
Location: Cardiff, Wales