Clocks Spring Ahead! Wake Up and Use the Extra Hour Wisely

The second Sunday of March each year is more than just an average weekend day.  It’s the date that daylight savings time begins – and gives us an extra hour of time. One of the most popular things to do with that hour is sleep (more on that later).  However, the extra hour can be spent doing something that will reap even bigger rewards. Why not get up at your usual time and use the bonus sixty mintues to organize your gift cards?

Chances are, you’re one of the xx people who received a gift card over the holidays. What you don’t want to happen to those gift cards is to have them become part of the $3 billion in gift cards that go unspent each year in the U.S.

Once you’ve had your coffee and breakfast, go on a gift card treasure hunt around the house. Look in all the drawers, desks, files, wallets, purses and gym bags for gift cards you may have forgotten about.  Lay them out on a table and grab your calendar and a permanent marker.

Schedule a “use on” date for each gift card, mark the date on the card, and make a notation to use that gift card on your calendar. It may be as simple as deciding to use a restaurant gift card to take a friend out on their birthday. Or, knowing that you will be near your favorite mall on a particular day.  Once you’ve made a plan to use your gift card, put them in a place where you’ll have them readily available. If you usually drive, your car’s glove compartment is a good option. Another great spot is in a see-through bag tacked to your front door.

Once you’ve gotten your gift cards together and organized and you still feel robbed of that extra hour of sleep, make sure you’re getting the best quality sleep on daylight savings night – and every night – by following these tips from psychotherapist  Jonathan Alpert, author of Be Fearless: Change Your Life in 28 Days.

1) Get Daily Exercise:  improved blood flow, which can be gained through aerobic exercise, increases your drive for sleep.

2)  Clear Your Mind:  Writing down your daily to-do list the night before helps eliminate the chronic worry that so often keeps people up at night.

3)  Relax and Get Ready:  Meditation and exercises for muscle relaxation have helped many of my patients quiet their minds to prepare for sleep.

Always getting a good night’s sleep will make forgoing that extra daylight savings time hour less important – use that hour to organize your gift cards!

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