It’s that time of the year from which there is no escape – fall in Sweden! This is a season that leaves me with such mixed feelings. On the one hand, it’s incredibly beautiful with all the changing colors and the crisp air, but on the other, it’s just so dark. Yesterday we woke up to a really dark morning. Fortunately for us, it turned out not to be only our imagination – all of Stockholm was darker than normal. Saharan winds and fires on the Iberian peninsula had caused the greyness.
Fall in Sweden: Beautiful Colors and a Time of Anticipation
Now is a time of anticipation. We are waiting for a lot of things. When will we see the first snowfall? The countdown to Christmas is slowly beginning. Believe it or not, there are lots of Christmas decorations and treats in the stores already! There are all kinds of parties and events to look forward to. But not just yet. I think that’s why October sometimes feels a bit boring – it’s the calm before the (social) storm. It is a time to sit down, relax, and pamper oneself!
Another beautiful aspect of fall is the changing colors. The world is really beautiful right now! The Finnish language actually has a word for this: ruska. Höstskrud is a poetic Swedish word for it, meaning fall attire. It’s a true pleasure to go out for a walk when the air is fresh and nature is at its best.
Fall in Sweden: the Other Side of the Coin
As almost anyone who lives this north can witness, there is another side of the coin. And that’s the darkness. As I write this the whole a sole street light is casting its light on the street outside my window. Apart from that, it’s pitch dark. We soon reach the moment, when people who work normal office hours won’t see the sun at all during their way to work and back. I noticed it myself, the tired feeling that is invading my body. I feel like eating a lot of carbs, and I need to push myself a bit extra to get things done.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a mood disorder subset that emerges during particular seasons of the year. It seems fairly common up here in Sweden, at least many people talk about it. Of course, people suffering from depression need to get appropriate help. However, there are some lifestyle changes that can relieve the symptoms.
- be outside more often
- get plenty of sunlight (if you see the sun -> go out!)
- avoid drugs and alcohol,
- get plenty of sleep,
- practice relaxation exercises
Personally, I’m trying to pay attention (more than usual) to these things. After all, I want to be able to enjoy fall in Sweden. And guess what? I just realized that we never took down our Christmas lights on the balcony, so now they are lightening up our street together with the lone street lamp.
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