Winter Blues: Field Test

This is my 4th winter in Scandinavia. I thought I would get used to the seemingly perpetual darkness. But that wasn’t the case this year. I started feeling stressed about the decreasing daylight since summer solstice (really! It is ridiculous!)

A brief timeline:

  • After Summer Solstice (21 June): I start to feel stressed and sad as the days become shorter, 2 mins per day
  • October: I start to behave strange, acting impulsively, almost childish
  • November: the struggle is real
  • December: can’t take it anymore!!!
  • January: better, the snow brightens up the environment + too busy studying for exams
  • February: coldest month usually, but days are getting longer.
  • March: I have finally survived another winter
  • April: surprise snowstorm comes out of nowhere!

There are tons of “suggestions” out there on how to beat the winter blues. I tested them and here are my reflections. candy

1/ Eat candy

Chocolate and sweets have some chemicals that make you happy. I really enjoy these sweet and sour gummy “coke bottle” candies. I found myself binge eating, going through a bag a week. Yes, it is very satisfying.

Short-term happiness achieved.


2/ Eat Chilies

One of the bosses at Chalmers comes from Mexico. He shared his trick of beating the old man’s winter – by consuming chilies.

I mix it into my pasta sauce. It gives the spaghetti a little kick. Yep, it induces some sweat on the forehead.

Again, chilies are satisfying… for 30 mins or so.

lottery3/ Easy Way Out

Each time I refund my bottles (yes, there’s economic incentive to recycling in Sweden), I buy a few lottery tickets.

We all have hopes and dreams… mine are Australia, South Africa, Chile, Argentina, Brazil… all countries in the southern hemisphere.

I am still in Göteborg…

Keep Dreaming! Keep Recycling!


4/ Pop Some Pills

Some say the sun helps the human synthesis Vitamin D. In the absence of the sun, taking the D pill can substitute some of its benefits.

Sure… I am sure it works.

But honestly, I don’t feel happier or less grumpy.



5/ Alcohol

There are strong correlations between dark long winters and alcoholism. If you spend 6 hrs in the bar, you will probably spend 12 hours in bed. That’s one way to pass time…

Drinking with friends is not a bad idea. Drinking alone never is.

Consume moderately.


6/ Find the Sun of a Beach

Get out – out of your room, out of the country. Get outside ‘n look for that sun. My floor-mate went to Spain during the holidays… he found some there.

Since nothing works for me, I just simply MUST leave Sweden at some point during December and get some sun.

I went to Florida with my family and it was glorious!


Here is my mother chasing seagulls. I’m sure she made a lot of “friends” on the beach that day 😛




PS! There is an indoor beach volleyball court in Göteborg we really enjoy going all winter long!


Beach Center


Written by Gimmy

13 Jan 2016