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How to Cope with Darkness (Polar Night in the Arctic)

It´s that time of the year when it really gets dark here in the north as we experience the Polar Night.. If you are not familiar with the concept, Polar Night means a period of darkness north of the Arctic circle when the sun does not rise over the horizon. The darkness of the Finnish winter might catch you by surprise. As I have been living abroad, I think, for me Polar Night is a problem. Seems like every year I struggle more because of it. Winter time and darkness is hard for me.  I struggle a lot especially now when we turned to "winter time" and we have day light only from 8 am until 4 pm and it keeps on getting darker each day.  And I know there are other people who also suffer because of it. So I decided to tell you how I cope with Polar Night.

leaves changing colours

How to survive in Darkness:

  1. Accept that this is the time of season when you are allowed to get cozy inside your apartment. Light some candles, wear comfortable clothes and drink some herbal tea. Enjoy the quietness around you. Look outside your window and think how warm it is inside compared to outside.
  2. Put your favorite song on and boogie around the house!When I´m feeling sluggish, this really helps me and sets me to the right mood.
  3. Try to socialize. Arrange lunch dates or coffee dates with your friends. Now is the time to get social after the time you spend inside your apartment. Chatting will lift your mood.
  4. Get excited about Christmas! Bake ginger breads, enjoy warm beverages, listen to Christmas carols, decorate your house with Christmas decorations.
  5. Get your daily dosage of vitamin D by taking supplements. It is a fact that in the north during November to March you cannot get enough vitamin D from the sun.
  6. Try light therapy lamps. I have noticed a difference now that I have been using that lamp for the past two years. I light it up in the morning as I have my breakfast. Just 20 to 30 minutes a day is enough.
  7. Try to take advantage of the day light. Walk outside at least for one hour during day light. I try to do this straight after work. Sometimes it is just a 20 minute walk but after that I feel better. It is also a good way to transition from home to work.
  8. Don´t forget to exercise! As we move towards winter and snow, winter suits perfectly for outdoor activities, such as walking on ice or in the forest, skiing, downhill skiing and ice skating. Or if there isn´t any snow, the colder weather still makes the air so fresh! So have a run outside instead.
  9. Go to sauna and enjoy the warmness.
  10. Think that this season will pass. It is just temporary. If we wouldn´t have this dark season, then the summer with its light wouldn´t be so beautiful and magnificent!

Lots of energy into your days,


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