It’s the last day of summer; pools have closed, white pants are suddenly frowned upon, the already long line at Starbucks has tripled thanks to the pumpkin spice latte (which is great, especially when all you want is a damn tall black coffee that literally just needs poured into a stupid cup no mixing required, but it’s fine…you’ll wait), and the days are getting shorter with less sun for us to absorb.

Dealing with shorter days is no easy task; we humans require our sun. As seasons shift, so does the amount of sunlight, which affects our circadian rhythm, the body’s internal biological clock that governs certain brain wave activity and hormone production. Darkness one hour earlier can shock our systems much like jetlag.

The long stretches of daylight in the summer spoil us, which makes adjusting as the summer sun fades away tough. Below are 5 tips and tricks to help you maximize the autumn and winter sunshine.

  1. Steal the sun. Ok, maybe you’re not really stealing it, but simply rearranging your schedule to get as much sunlight as possible. Move your morning walk to the middle of the day, even if it’s only a quick walk during your lunch break. Sneaking away from your desk for ten or fifteen minutes to get outside and soak in some rays will help you get your sunshine fix.
  1. Save your summer vacay. Instead of taking your vacation in the summer, avoid the crowds and soak up some rays in the wintertime. If the beach isn’t your thing, keep in mind wintry places don’t mean dark places – plan a ski or snowboarding trip in Colorado or Utah. The high altitude means more sunlight, so don’t forget to pack your sunscreen.
  1. Brave the temps. Get outside even when it’s cold. Just because it’s chilly outside, doesn’t mean you have to stay inside. Cold weather is simply weather for which you haven’t dressed appropriately. So throw on those overpriced questionably fashionable boots and go for a stroll.
  1. Be fit and zen. Exercising any time of day will do wonders for your disposition, and obviously your health, but planning an early morning workout can have even more benefits. Not only will it leave you energized for the rest of the day, but also if timed right, you’ll experience the sunrise every morning. What a beautiful way to start the day.
  1. Get out at lunch. If walking during the day isn’t your thing, you can still benefit from getting away for your lunch break. Instead of saving your errands for after work, do them during the day; park near the back of the parking lot to really maximize your exposure to the sun. Your skin will love the extra little dose of vitamin D.

So, get out there and soak up those rays, and enjoy those comfy sweaters and flannels while you can!

Related: 5 Ways to Beat the Winter Blues