With the daylight minutes getting shorter every day there are a few tips I use for low daylight survival. Right now with the sun not coming up until almost 9:00 and going below our tree line around 2:30 in the afternoon, I sometimes feel like I want to hibernate. Being a Northern Minnesota girl for the first 47 years of my life, I’m used to shorter daylight hours, but living in Fairbanks has taken it to another level. I have learned a few tricks over the years I’l like to share with you.

Low Daylight Survival Tip: Get Outside

“Back in the day” of having an average of 50 sled dogs in your front yard, we thrived on winter, snow for our trails and the colder weather to keep the snow around. We also spent a minimum of two hours a day outside doing dog chores, and the need to hibernate was lessened as being outside, even when it’s freezing, is good for a persons mood. There are times when it’s so cold taking a deep breath can be challenging, but nothing a nice warm neck gaitor pulled up over your nose can’t fix.

See and Be Seen To Survive Low Daylight

Now that I don’t have sled dogs I have to force myself to get outside and get our Aussie, Takum, out for a walk. Even if it’s just a mile or so around the neighborhood, he loves stretching his legs to run. With the aforementioned lack of daylight, sometimes our walk is after dark. Thankfully I still have a few headlamps leftover from my mushing days to see where I’m going. The one in the photo below is a Princeton Tech Apex Pro. We have at least a half dozen around here, including one in each of our vehicles in case of a breakdown.

Winter Got You Down? Check out my Three Tips to low daylight survival!


Another thing I learned from running sled dogs in the dark; wearing something reflective is just as important so others can see me! A few weeks back, a sponsored ad showed up on Facebook featuring hats and scarves with reflective fibers woven into the yarn used to make the products. I just HAD to click on the link and check it out. I was pleasantly surprised when I sent them a message about their products, they offered to send me a couple hats and a cool light up sweatshirt to try! The other night I took them for a test spin with Takum. While I kinda look like a goon in the hat with my short, round head, the fleece-lined hat was nice and warm (it was below zero that night) and the sweatshirt was super cool! (Sorry for such bad quality, it was below zero and my fingers were getting cold!). Night Light Clothes gets a thumbs up from this girl!

A Light To Make Me Happy

A happy light can keep a girl happy in low daylight hours

Another one of the tools in my low daylight survival toolbox is a “Happy Light” a friend gave me when I moved to Fairbanks last fall. The lights are designed with the right light to combat the effects of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). I have the light next to where I sit on the couch to read, work and hang out. I turn it on high as soon as I come downstairs in the morning and have on for a few hours before the sun come up. I usually will have on low in the evening for an hour or so before bed. I was skeptical of it working at first, but  have found a difference in my mood and energy level if I miss a day.

Light Your Body With The Proper Fuel

Low light survival tip: Eat healthy food to light you up from the inside.

Eating healthy is also very helpful. I find when I eat like crap, I feel like crap. Getting in foods full of nutrients is important. Vegetables, fruits, complex carbohydrates and lean protein make up the bulk of the foods I eat. I tend to have a hard time getting all my leafy green vegetables so I supplement with powdered greens. I also tend to crave indulgent treats and when I find one that is healthy I’m all over it! I went searching for a healthy brownie recipe this morning and thanks to Pinterest found this gem for Paleo Brownies from Paleo Grubs. Today was a “stay-in-my-jammies-day” or I would have run to town an picked up all the ingredients! I’m excited to try them later this week. I’ll let you know how they turn out!

There you have it, a few of my low daylight survival tips. If you have something that help you, I’d love to have you share. Feel free to leave a comment below or visit our Facebook or Instagram pages with a comment.