• The B-Side
  • Posts
  • 😫 How to beat the 4:30 p.m. sunsets

😫 How to beat the 4:30 p.m. sunsets

Plus: Your new favorite date night.

 It's Thursday, Boston.

🥪 It’s also National Sandwich Day. I’m not entirely sure who decides these “national days,” but if it means I can eat a Reuben for lunch, I’ll take it.

👀 What’s on tap today:

  • November sure is warm

  • Good news on the wastewater data

  • A Hinge profile for Boston’s Christmas tree

Up first…

HEALTH & WELLNESS

It’s time to deal with the winter blues

Meme: Piñata Farm

Living in New England is all fun and games until the sun sets at 4:30 p.m., which (sorry) kicks in this weekend. And if you’re one of the estimated 4% of Americans dealing with severe Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, that loss of sunlight can be debilitating.

But what if you just have a mild case of the winter blues? I spoke with Dr. Khadijah Booth Watkins, the associate director of the Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds at Mass. General Hospital, to get her tips on how to navigate the darker months. Here’s what she had to say:

😴 Maintain a consistent sleep schedule, i.e., waking up and going to bed at the same time. Our “circadian rhythm controls our mood, our appetite, [and] drive to eat,” she said, so the more we can regulate our sleep, the better we’ll function overall.

☀️ Find the light. Both inside and outside. This means going for a walk while the sun is out. And if you’re indoors, “keep the blinds up as long as the sun is up,” she said, and the lights on.

🧘 Maintain a balanced diet & exercise routine. This may feel obvious, but these two things are proven to boost your mood and energy.

🌴 If you can swing it, take a vacation. Escaping the cold and darkness and getting a hit of sunshine and serotonin can do you wonders. Doctor’s orders.

What about Vitamin D supplements and light therapy? Booth Watkins considers these things treatments, not lifestyle modifications, which should be tailored to you under the guidance of your physician.

“Nothing is benign. When we add things to our body, it's all extra, and nothing is without risk,” Booth Watkins said.

So just because an influencer gave you a 20% off code for her SAD light, doesn’t mean you should buy it.

Remember: Real doctors > TikTokers.

CITY

Quick & Dirty Headlines

Photo: Erin Clark/Globe Staff, Illustration: Katie Cole

😅 Expect 70-degree highs … in November? This mild stretch of weather could break a record this weekend, with Sunday’s forecast projecting a high of 74 degrees (the current record for that day is 73 degrees). Records are one thing, but trends are a better look at how the climate is changing over time, and trends show November getting warmer by a third of a degree every decade. I'm old enough to remember when it was actually cold in November.

🦠 Good news from Boston’s COVID-19 wastewater data. You can breathe a sigh of relief. The concentration of COVID-19 found in Greater Boston’s wastewater is trending downward, a positive sign for those hoping to gather for the holidays later this month. But just to be safe, officials are still urging people to get their booster shots. Find where you can get yours here.

🤷 Don’t know who to vote for Governor? There’s a quiz for that. Boston.com made this 11-question quiz to see if you align more with Maura Healey or Geoff Diehl. While both candidates have promised to make Massachusetts more affordable, grow the economy, and protect the rights of its residents, their plans for how, exactly, are quite different. Even if you already know who you’re voting for, the quiz is still a fun way to see how aligned you are with your pick.

THINGS TO DO

Date night plans

Illustration: Katie Cole

🎨 Paint your own pottery at The Clayroom in Brookline. I did this last weekend and give it a 10 out of 10. There’s a $10 studio fee plus the cost of the ceramic you paint.

🍽️ Check a restaurant off your bucket list from Boston magazine’s “Best of Boston 2022” list. The mag covers several categories that can break you out of your date night funk.

🕹️ Play pinball in a speak-easy arcade in Central Square. A4cade is an arcade bar collab between Area Four and Roxy's Grilled Cheese hidden behind a freezer door.

🧗 Try bouldering at Central Rock Gym. No prior experience is needed to scale these 15-foot rock walls. Day passes are $28 and rental shoes are $5.

🤑 Get a sweet dinner deal from Myers + Chang restaurant as part of their date night specials. The deal runs Monday through Wednesday nights from 4 to 9 p.m. with dinner for two starting at $60.

ONE LAST THING

A Christmas tree Hinge profile

Photo: Jim Davis/Globe Staff, Illustration: Katie Cole

Boston’s Christmas tree was officially unveiled in Nova Scotia this week. So was its dating profile. The Tree for Boston’s Twitter account shared info about this year’s tree as if it were on Hinge:

  • It’s 37 years old AND

  • 45 feet tall (so probably more like 40 feet)

  • Its favorite Taylor Swift song is “Christmas Tree Farm”

While this tree is single for now, it has a hot date in the Boston Common set for later this month. It’ll receive a police escort to the Common on Nov. 22 and will be lit on Dec. 1.

🍹 Thanks for reading! You can spot me trying one of these sweater weather cocktails recommended by Boston Chefs. But if the current forecast sticks, I may forgo the sweater.

💃 For more hot takes and late night thoughts, follow me on Twitter and IG @emilyschario. Send comments and suggestions to [email protected].