In Ayurveda, we are always trying to stay present and look ahead. We do this seasonally, by caring for ourselves now, with our eyes on our tendencies to go out of balance with what’s coming.
The time change. Staying present and looking ahead. This weekend, we set the clocks forward. It’s one of the hardest times for us. It messes with the routines each of us has in place and stresses out an already stressed out pineal gland (the manager of the sun/circadian rhythms within each of us).
Spring is hard enough with it’s wishy washy weather. One day it’s nice and warm. The next, it’s freezing cold. One day it’s a warm breeze. The next, a violent wind. We’re not quite sure how to manage this beginning stage of spring. We KNOW the clock change is a challenge in the spring. It’s the one where the uptick in heart attacks, strokes, and car accidents rises on the following Monday.
We know this, but we don’t look ahead. We often just rail against the silliness of the time change itself, but do nothing for ourselves. That would be an example of Prajnaparadha: we know better but we do it anyway. Every single year. We know it’s going to be a challenge, but we don’t do anything to mitigate the challenge.
Here’s a way to mitigate and not commit Prajnaparadha (misuse of intelligence). Starting tonight. YES, TONIGHT–this IS the “last minute”!!!! Set your alarm clock back by 15 minutes and tomorrow morning do everything the way you normally would as if this is the new time. This is key: it does no good to set your alarm back by 15 minutes and ignore it come morning.
On Thursday night, set your alarm back 30 minutes and tomorrow morning do everything the way you normally would as if this is the new time. This is key: it does no good to set your alarm back by 15 minutes and ignore it come morning.
On Friday night, set your alarm back by 45 minutes. If your weekend morning routine is very different than your work week routine, wake up on Saturday and Sunday as if it is the work week — setting the alarm clock back by another fifteen minutes each night (60 minutes on Saturday night). It’s only a few days of no excuses self discipline!! Just these few days of discipline will mitigate some of the shock of the change.
Give yourself the gift of time. If you are rushing around every morning, this is also a good time to add in a few minutes to your morning. Instead of setting the alarm back by 15 minutes, set it back by 20. You’ll gain 20 minutes of morning time come Monday. Extra Time for Yoga, Meditation, Abhyangha….the choice is yours and the possibilities endless.
Yes, I know it stinks to get up on a Saturday and Sunday morning at the same time you do for the work week. But isn’t your health worth it? It’s only a few days. Tapas in Yoga is “self discipline”. If it helps, tell yourself you’re practicing yoga this weekend and mark it as a win on your exercise log. If you need it, yes, you have my permission to do this because this IS Yoga.
Stay present and look ahead. Prepare yourself for losing an hour of sleep. Prepare the body for a little bit more darkness come Monday.
Also, the other tips: avoid caffeine in the evenings as we go into and settle into the time change. Wind down before bed each evening, give yourself your adult version of a winding down bedtime story. Drink a mug of sleepy time tea in the evening. Oil your feet. Take a bath. Set yourself up for wellness success. You are worth it.