It’s normal

We are in the thick of some of the darkest days of the year. In Minneapolis, where I live, sunset will be at 4:31pm this afternoon. If we’re lucky, that means we will have 8 hours and 56 minutes of sunlight. That’s over 6 hours shorter than it was 6 months ago. Our human bodies are organized around a ~24 hour day. That means a quarter of our day and almost half of my waking hours have shifted from light to dark. No wonder my body feels more lethargic. That I just want to curl up and eat warming foods. No wonder it’s harder to be as productive. ⁣

Our society wants us to treat each day the same. To expect the same productivity, the same results. But that’s not normal. It is normal to behave differently when the circumstances are different. And darkness definitely qualifies as a circumstance. ⁣

it's normal to have lower energy on the darkest days

Published by Emily P.G. Erickson

Emily P.G. Erickson is a writer with a master's degree in psychology. Her service journalism and personal essays about mental health, mindfulness, and motherhood have appeared in The New York Times, WIRED, Romper, Elemental, and elsewhere. You can find the latest from Emily at

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