Well, we are over the hump of winter, at least that is what I am telling myself. I feel like February can go either way, the weather can clear up and start to feel like Spring or Old Man Winter may decide to show up and give us the storm of the year. Regardless of the weather, I am really looking forward to more daylight. I am so tired of the gloomy dull days and when I finally get ready to take my wee one for a walk, I realize it’s around sunset, before 4pm and we’ve missed our chance at a little daylight! I am lucky enough that I work from home and make my own hours so I can potentially do a daylight activity and work my schedule around it but for the person who works a typical nine to five (like my husband) daylight is very scarce this time of year. Here are a couple of tips to maximize the little daylight we have.

SAD Light. When I worked normal hours, I had an office downtown that was down a long hall, around the corner, in the guts of a building with no natural light. I had a SAD light that I used every morning and it helped me immensely. I’m not saying that it works for everyone but I enjoyed it and it felt like I was taking a proactive step to do something good for myself. I purchased my SAD light from Costco for under $100.

Take a walk on your break. When I worked for the State of Alaska I had two breaks, plus a lunch everyday. During my fifteen minute breaks (when I actually took them) I would either go outside, weather permitting of course or I would head up to the eighth floor of the SOB which had lots of windows and natural light. Find a place that you can either get fresh air or some good exposure to daylight and soak up as much light as you can.

Park further away from work. My husband was recently complaining about the horrendous parking situation downtown for state workers. I don’t have any experience with this so I am taking his word for it. He says the silver lining of this situation is that he sometimes has to park far away, exposing him to more daylight via a brisk morning walk to work. I am sure he would enjoy this forced stroll more if he didn’t have a bad knee, but at least he’s getting some fresh air and much needed vitamin D.

Get out during lunch time. Again, when I worked office hours I would eat my lunch outside or near a window. Sometimes I would scarf my lunch as fast as I could and then walk or run either up basin road or down Thane and enjoy the outdoors. With the heavy rain and snow gear we Alaskans have for the outdoors, a brisk walk in the crummiest of weather at lunch is still obtainable as is not looking like a hurricane hit you when you’re back in your cube.

Maximize your weekend daylight. This is something I am sure everyone does, get out, get out, get out!!! Turn off the phone, unplug the electronics, save your TV watching for something you absolutely cannot miss and get outside! There is a range of activities to do depending on the weather. Get creative, play a game of tag, build a snowman, make “crop circles” in the snow.

Whatever it may be to lift your spirits, I hope that you have a wonderful February!

Anna Hoke is the graphic designer and owner of Southeast Living Magazine. She can be reached at anna@seakliving.com.