In all the countries sharing Sweden’s latitude the winter darkness is a striking factor. So much so that many people talk about winter depression. Having living in Sweden for 11 years I can really understand. Some of the people I know try “light therapies”, which basically are about being exposed to strong artificial light in order to counter arrest the lack of sunlight. (November usually has between 5 and 10 hours of sunlight during the whole month.)
So what to do to keep the spirits up besides going to light therapy?
If you have any useful suggestions please don’t hesitate in writing back. You can do it by clicking on comments.
Our family’s way of keeping up the spirits is spending lots of time together. I try to pick up the children from school and daycare before it’s dark (around 2.30 pm) in the hope of giving them a sense that the day is not over just because it’s dark. My younger children (4 and 2 years old) ask me at 3.30 pm if it’s time to go to bed, since it’s so, so dark.
We try to plan different activities, many times at home and sometimes at other places. Fridays, in special, are our cosy days. Then I try to pick up the children after lunch and during the winter we go swimming (indoors, naturally) or out skating in the ice or just playing in the snow a few hours before it’s dark again.
Indoors activities are nothing special really, but they become special because we are together and have fun in a unpretentious way. For instance baking a cookie-house. This one on this picture represents an old house from Gamla Stan (the old town in Stockholm). I let the children decide the house they want to build; they decide the decoration and make it. I try to let them decide and do as much as they want and I help them when needed.
Our next project (somewhat delayed) will be to make our own calendar for Christmas. I’m not sure other countries have that, certainly not my home country, Argentina.
I hope I can tell you more soon…