Coping with the darkness =)

A bit of a random thread: how do you guys cope with the winter darkness, ie. shorter daylight hours? Are there any typical Swiss recipes for that matter? =) Like going higher up to the mountains on weekends, traveling to Ticino. Or anything more generic like waking up early, or doing sports? =)

I seem to cope with it by becoming one with my sofa and Netflix in the evenings and/or spending far too much time on the EF. A nice cup o' tea is nice, too.

I've found that getting my vit D tested in late October (and then spending the next 4 weeks bringing my levels up to normal) definitely helps keep my energy levels and mood up during the late autumn and winter. There's just a little over one more month to go before the winter solstice, and then the sun will begin to set a bit later each evening and the days will begin to become longer again.

I always joke that this is the time of year when my hibernation mode begins to kick in. I actually do like winter, but sometimes I think it would be nice if we could be like some animals and just sleep the winter away.

I’ve always lived in the Northern Hemisphere above 45°. In the winter we have reduced daylight hours and in the Summer we have the opposite.

I much prefer having seasons.

The bad news is that we still have six more weeks of shorter daylight, the good news is from then the daylight will grow longer until June.

To wildly understate my situation, I always struggle this time of year. I decided this year I was not going to succumb to seasonal affective disorder and have actually been managing pretty well. The three things I have done are:

1. I joined a gym in October and go there three times a week without fail, and I work myself pretty hard while I'm there. Instead of going into hibernation mode and piling on the kg (as I typicall do) I am actually losing weight and getting stronger and fitter, and physically I feel better than I have in years. I am looking forward to cross-country skiing this winter, being out in the snow and sunshine while exercising is a real mood lifter.

2. I am participating in a big side musical project that is taking up a lot of spare time, but it's definitely keeping me sane. Having a side gig that has concrete deadlines and challenges me keeps me in line, and it's also so much fun being able to get back in touch with my muscial side. Being busy keeps me away from vegging in front of the tele or mindlessly browsing the internet.

3. Nutrition. I've been avoiding typical heavy fall comfort foods and eating lots of veg and lean protein. Just in general I am in much better physical health than I have been in ages, and it feels amazing.

Waking up early won't help!

Get out and about as much as possible - especially if it is sunny at all.

Go for a walk at lunchtime if you can.

Go up to the mountains at weekends.

I've found you sometimes don't need to go up high to get in the sun - sometimes running, or walking up the local hill is enough.

Oh, sure. Make me look bad for lying on the sofa and watching Netflix. lol.

I'm currently in quarantine with Covid and recovering from surgery but can't wait til I can get out for a nice walk! Now if only this rain would stop!!!

For SAD, I can recommend a lamp - the therapy lamps are often crazily expensive but if you look at the specifications, there are cheaper alternatives. If you get a prescription from your doctor, health insurance will pay most of the cost.

I just ordered a SAD light, for my wife from Amazon for less than €40.00 including shipping.

https://www.amazon.de/dp/B0B4S1TM7S/…024491_TE_item

I hope it helps! I've been thinking of getting one of those to see if it might help me fall asleep more easily in the winter. I guess our brains produce serotonin at night more easily if our eyes had been exposed to sunlight during the day.

I've found that it helps to get outdoors as much as possible. The hardy Swiss have a saying, that there is no such thing as bad weather, only poor clothing. I hated hearing that, at the start, but there's certainly an aspect of truth to it. It's partly the dark, but partly also the cold that stops us. Organise really warm clothing and to try to get into the habit of dressing up properly before leaving the house.

Also: reserve some treats for winter. Besides those which recur, seasonally, (candle-making, Christmas lights, singing and concerts, markets, and of course the snow itself) designate some for yourself that you will never do in any other season. For example, we go to a particular café in winter only. Thermal baths are great in the cold, too. As are trips on lake, on any of the ships still running on the reduced timetable.

I just watch a random youtuber-traveller video from time to time to cheer up. Apart from that, video games!, the real world doesn't exist when I'm immersed in a captivating game.

Try living in the UK. It's darker for even longer there.

At least here, you can get above the fog and ski in the sunshine.

I agree completely yet it's not enough sunshine still ... =) I lived on the same latitude as UK let's say..

It was Alfred Wainwright, a British author of hiking books who wrote that originally - it appeared in one of his books in 1973.

I've never heard it attributed to the Swiss, who tend not to hike when the weather is bad, and who can blame them with so many blue sky days to chose from.

The weather is invariably windy, wet and col din the UK hills so chances are, you'll be walking in bad weather more than good.

Ah, thank you for the note to Alfred Wainwright. I'd never heard the saying till I got to Switzerland, and then - or so it felt - I was having it preached at me, repeatedly. That is, until I improved my clothing.

I certainly agree with you about the weather in the UK compared to that in Switzerland, and think of that aspect, and shudder, every time someone on this forum is considering returning to the UK.

We eventually run out of things to talk about when abroad and have to return to the UK to stand gazing out of the window with hand on hip and mug of tea in hand to lament, "It's really coming down, isn't it?" or "Did you HEAR that wind last night?" or 3 days into a heatwave; "I'm really not one for hot weather".

I find winter a good time to do things that I like but I don't feel like doing a lot during the summer as I spend more time outside, that is: Listening through my vinyl collection and growing it, spending more time in the gym, watching series, reading books etc

I forgot to mention alcohol, works well too

If your are new to Switzerland, you may not be aware that some areas are much more affected in winter than others. So yes, get out as much as you can, but when possible try to go up to higher altitudes, if possible above the 'sea of fog' that tends to linger around all lake areas.

There is a good reason why watch making started in the Jura mountains- because farmers could not farm in winter, but the amazing winter light up in the mountain sunshine, above the clouds, allowed the to do very precise work, as the women made intricate lace.

From Lausanne, it is very easy to head to the mountains, be it in the Vaud Alps, or the Jura, and enjoy.

Oh yeah, the "sea of fog" was horrible on the lake Geneve shore. Springs and Autumns were dull... but 20 min train trip up sufficed to enjoy the sunshine