Check your smoke detectors
Eve Tolefree, division chief for Lawrence Fire Medical, said fall is a good time to check batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. She said it is also a good time to make sure your furnace and other heat sources are working well.
Tolefree also cautioned local residents to never ignore the chirping sound coming from detectors. This means the battery should be changed.
It’s that time again — time to set our clocks back an hour.
Sunday marks the end of daylight saving time. The official switch, by the way, takes place at 2 a.m.
We’ll resume daylight saving time next spring, on March 13.
For some people, the end of daylight saving time, and the beginning of the shorter days of fall and winter, can have a mental and physical effect.
“Many may notice being chronically tired, weight gain, difficulty getting out of bed and bouts of what has been commonly called ‘winter blues,’” said Loraine Herndon, senior therapist at Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center.
However, some people experience more extreme symptoms, commonly referred to as seasonal affective disorder (SAD). About 10 million Americans suffer from SAD according to Herndon, while the milder “winter blues” affect a larger number of people.
Herndon said a decrease in energy, fatigue, lethargy, mood change and a reduction in physical activity can be some of the physical affects. Mental symptoms include a desire for sweet things resulting in weight gain, withdrawal from social interaction, a sense of not getting enough sleep and, if severe enough, depression.
“I’ve already worked with clients who are describing some of the effects,” Herndon said. “I suspect we will be able to see it more clearly as the season moves on.”
If you suffer from the winter blues or seasonal affective disorder, Herndon offers these suggestions:
• Get outside. “People can go on a brisk walk outside for 20 to 30 minutes, or if they are unable to do the brisk walk, at least sit on a bench or porch outside,” she said.
• If you can’t get at least 20 minutes of sun a day, consider taking fish oil and vitamin D supplements.
• Light boxes also can be used to treat symptoms. Boxes, which should have about 10,000 lux, should be used 20 to 30 minutes a day.
• Stay in touch with people you enjoy — friends and family.
• If the winter blues turn into clinical depression, seek professional help.