Brace Yourselves, Daylight Savings Time is Ending.

 
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On November 4th, millions of people are going to jump for joy about getting back that one hour's sleep they sacrificed back in March. Sure, we can all stay out at the bars an hour later or sleep in an hour more the next day, but hold up--let's not forget that Daylight Saving Time sucks. Every year, we get used to sleeping in an hour later only to groan when next spring rolls around and we've got to adjust to the time change all over again. Here's a wild idea: let's NOT.

According to the internet (the ever so reliable WebMD, in this case), the time change affects our circadian rhythm quite a bit  because it changes its primary cue, sunlight, by a whole goddamn hour all of a sudden. NOT ON MY WATCH, IT WON'T! Okay, on my physical watch, it will, but you knew what I meant. By keeping my circadian rhythm intact, I'm hoping that adjusting in the spring won't be as hard as it usually is. 

My game plan is to go to bed an hour early on November 4th so that I can still claim my extra hour. On November 5th, though, I'm going to wake up between 6:30 and 7:00 am, which was 7:30-8:00 am the day before, which is the time of day my body is used to getting up in the morning. For those of you who live in more northern/therefore darker locations,  a daylight lamp is a great item to purchase. If you haven't heard of a daylight lamp, they're fantastic. It's essentially an alarm clock that wakes you up by getting gradually lighter, making for an easy (and circadian rhythm maintaining) wake-up. You can get one for as cheap as $29.99 on Amazon, but I really like the Phillips Wellner Smart Table Lamp. I can control it from my phone, use it as a bedside lamp, and it looks pretty cool and futuristic, sorta like Baymax.

Folks who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (appropriately dubbed, "SAD") can benefit greatly from a daylight lamp/light therapy. So can people with mood disorders! According to Psychology Today, "If one is treating a mood disorder, light therapy is best given for duration of 30 minutes for every hour one sleeps beyond 6 hours. So for example, if one sleeps 8 hours, they would require one hour of light therapy given one hour before they would normally wake. Since this is unlikely to be done by people who already feel the need for more sleep, it is best to use a dawn simulator light." They recommend starting light therapy one week before symptoms set in, or as soon as they do. Although studies have been performed using a 10,000 lux lamp, other studies show that a light with a lux of 500 could be just as effective. For more information on the benefits, check out the Psychology Today article referenced in this post!

 

We're Gaga for "Five Foot Two"

Watching Lady Gaga’s new documentary, Five Foot Two, is a cathartic experience. It is so validating to see yourself reflected in somebody so successful. To know that she has her struggles just like you have yours and that she’s not always the turned-on character we see her as is so f*cking cool.

In Five Foot Two, we see Lady Gaga at her most human self. She’s not always glamorous. She doesn’t put on a facade to disguise when she feels like shit. She talks about her physical pain and her trauma. She goes to the doctor and lists the slew of medications she’s on. She gets ready in the morning and goes to work. She talks about her journey to self-acceptance. She visits her grandma and plays the title song of "Joanne" and says that she wrote it for her. They’re in a small apartment with dated furniture and she asks permission to eat a persimmon. She goes to a baptism for one of her family members. By the end of the documentary, we have been gifted a true and honest glimpse into her personal life. This documentary is not about Gaga, but about Stephanie Germanotta.

The fascinating thing about Gaga is her drive to create and channel her pain, physical and emotional, into art. She focuses in like a laser beam and gets the job DONE. I also loved that she’s not always the most eloquent person. In one shot, she’s on a stoop late at night after a recording session. She's talking about Madonna, and how she wishes Madonna had told her to her face that she didn’t like her work. She sounds like she might be a little drunk, but it ends up in the documentary anyway because it’s clear that her motive with Five Foot Two is to document her reality: the good, the less glamorous, and even the average.

It is empowering to see Lady Gaga working to live the life she wants to live--that it doesn’t come easy, but she knows she’s in charge of her destiny. Thanks in part to this documentary and my own most recently begun journey with my mental health, I am slowly giving myself permission to live a life that I want to live. Giuls and I have been talking a lot about accepting our mental health issues here at Fab Feminist. For anybody who lives a ‘curated’ life, it is especially empowering to talk about your mental health with others. You don’t have to divulge the gritty details; to simply tell another person, “I am currently dealing with PTSD,” or “My depression and anxiety have gotten the better of me lately,” gives you so much power. Power to admit that you are not your mental illness; power to say that you are not responsible for the side effects of your struggle. I hope Five Foot Two also offers you some solace in your mental health journey! As always, Giuls and I are here to support our Fab Feminists in any way we can.

When an Apartment Hunt turns into a Panic Attack.

Anxiety is a f***ing b.

You might feel like you're doing everything right, moving forward with your life and then BAM. You're in the midst of a panic attack.

Sometimes, the cause is obvious sometimes, it's something small, sometimes it's completely invisible. For me, I think it's all of those combined. How can you know which came first? Little things become harder and harder for me. Like doing laundry became impossible. I started feeling incapable of getting ready for work until the absolute last minute. After a certain point it's almost like you're trying to make it harder for yourself, but really it's just that exhausting and everything seems impossible. 

I was apartment hunting with my boyfriend. That's what set it off I think. I had so many tours scheduled and so many unstored numbers of landlords and brokers in my phone in so many different locations in a span of 24 hours. We ended up at the Realtors office instead of the apartment we were meeting the realtor at (which I realized was his fault because he never actually sent me the god damn address and had his office address listed). A fucking waterfall just opened. I started sobbing these disgusting, snotty sobs, accompanied by those deep uncontrollable noises emphasized by gaps of air you only produced when you cried as a child. Why did I schedule all these meetings this way? I guess I spend too much energy trying to cater to other people's schedule to the point where I burn out on my own.

 I feel this immense pressure to always be on top of everything. Yes, it's definitely a bit of a control issue that gets out of control, ironically. But it's these moments (which probably happen a few times a year tbh) that serve as my wake-up call. 

I must be reminded sometimes to re-commit to myself. I don't always have to be the one rearranging my schedule for a stranger's comforts. I don't always need to be the one to move off the sidewalk when someone's also using the sidewalk that I'm equally entitled to. I don't have to always say yes to plans I don't have the energy for, or to make those plans work because I said I would even though. 

I can't see to get out of bed. Sometimes you have to put yourself first and not apologize for being selfish. Because it's not. Selfishness and self-care are very different. Don't apologize for your anxiety or depression. I'm sure as hell not going to anymore. (well, until my next panic attack, that is.)