When dark December glooms the day…

Before I came to Sweden everyone was asking me if I am ready for the dark winter and the polar nights. I have always answered I am not going so North to experience the polar nights and that I am looking forward to the experience. However, I did not know what was awaiting me and that it would affect me.

As Christmas is approaching, the days are getting shorter and darker. Currently, the sun rises around 9am and sets a few minutes before 15pm, giving us less than 6 hours of light. It should stay like this the whole December and toward January it will start sloooowly prolonging again :). However, at least we have the sun as in the North during the polar nights, the sun stays very low and it is more dim.

As I said, I did not expect it to affect me as I was telling myself I am used to the darker winter in my country. However, as I checked, we have 2 more hours of sunlight in December! Anyways, lately I have been feeling sluggish, gloomy, sleepy and wanted to stay in bed all day. This is quite unusual to me as I am usually a very positive person who smiles a lot. I have discussed it with my classmates and some of them also agreed on feeling similarly… So I decided to beat it and googled some suggestions. If you are feeling similarly or preparing to come to Sweden, you can get inspired with these ideas:

  • Have the lights on as much as possible, especially during the morning and evening to tell your brain it is not yet/any more time to sleep! My friend also has a clever lamp which imitates the sunrise and makes it easier to wake up… I feel that would help a lot!
  • Try to go outside as much as possible to catch at least a little bit of sunlight and fresh air.
  • Exercise – sports helps releasing the serotonin hormone aka the happiness hormone which will help you feel better and happier.
  • Eat well – it is important to not give in to eating only sweat and unhealthy food and still keep a lot of veggies and fish in your diet. It is said also that fish have vitamin D, which also helps you to keep happy (or you can also buy some supplements).
  • Meet with friends as much as possible and don’t spend your days locked up in your room all alone.

I hope this advice will help you be prepared or beat the dark winter days and won’t discourage you from coming to Sweden! 🙂


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