What a lovely little gift Daylight Savings Time gives us each fall. One extra hour, delivered via our automatically updated alarm clocks and phones while we sleep on Saturday night.
It’s almost like Father Time gets his own turn at playing Santa—only to be cursed later when he steals that hour away each spring.
Working moms, let’s savor this extra hour. Imagine what we could do with an extra 60 minutes—on a weekend day, no less!—to kick off the month with a bang. Here are nine ideas on how you might take advantage of the time change this year.
- Sleep in. If you don’t usually get enough ZZZ’s (and let’s face it, you probably don’t), an additional hour won’t cure all your ills, but it sure will feel nice. Sleep deprivation decreases a range of cognitive abilities, according to Alice Callahan of the Science of Mom blog. So this little indulgence can only improve your mood and ability to do stuff.
- Start a new book. I took a long hiatus from reading books after I became a mom. Between my lack of time and energy in the evenings, I just couldn’t dive into books the way I did pre-kids. But recently (mostly when I travel for work), I’ve been devouring novels like the good ol’ days—which made me realize how much I missed a good page-turner. If you need any recommendations, a few I’ve enjoyed lately are:
- Take a walk. Depending on where you live, you might enjoy balmy breezes (lucky!) or brisk gusts of wind blowing colorful leaves off the trees. Either way, you’re getting your heart rate up while soaking up some Vitamin Nature. Feel free to go with a friend you haven’t seen in a while, or your family, or just go it alone and reconnect with you.
- Do something that makes the rest of your week go a little more smoothly. For me, this would be making my kids’ school lunches, a total of 10, so they’re all ready to go each morning. Or putting away the laundry that’s been sitting in baskets, folded and sorted, so we have clothes to wear. Or devising a simple meal plan and shopping list so the nightly “what’s for dinner?” discussion isn’t so baffling and painful.
- Be creative. If you have a particular creative hobby you enjoy, whether it’s painting, creative writing, crafting or whatever, spend an hour doing that. Don’t worry about having all the right materials or setting. If you have to, go to a local bead store or art studio and just go nuts.
- Cook as a family. The simple act of choosing a recipe, assembling the ingredients, preparing and cooking or baking a dish together can be a fun bonding experience. Often, I’ll cook without the kids just to get the meal on the table faster. But with an extra hour, you have the luxury of time to spend showing them how to roll out dough or chop vegetables. When you’re done, you can all mutually appreciate and enjoy the food you made as a family. As we like to say in our house, it tastes better because it’s “made with love.”
- Get your “mom mobile” cleaned and detailed. In about an hour, a professional car wash can turn your Cheerio-encrusted, kid detritus-filled car into a clean, mean driving machine. Take out those car seats and let the professionals put in some elbow grease, while you catch up on a favorite podcast or magazine. Your car will be so much nicer, shinier and better-smelling—for you and whoever happens to ride with you.
- Catch up on flu shots. I know, this one’s not so fun. But it’s important to stay healthy throughout flu season, right? Our family is currently at 50% compliance on our flu shots, but in less than an hour, Cassie and I can swing by one of those retail pharmacy locations that give flu shots without an appointment. Then we’ll be 100% protected and rest a little easier this winter.
- Treat yo’self. Personally, there’s no more enjoyable way to spend an hour than to get a manicure or pedicure. For you, it might be a massage, a fancy coffee drink and the Sunday Times, shopping post-Halloween sales for deals and steals, or soaking in a hot, relaxing bubble bath.
What’s your favorite way to spend that extra hour of Daylight Savings Time? Whatever you decide this year, I hope it’s a good one!