With the clocks going back this weekend, we all gladly gained an extra hour of sleep. Usually, this is seen as good news for the days immediately following the change. It certainly makes the Monday morning start a little easier. But once the body adjusts, the reality of early descending nights might seem a little sad.
There is plenty of advice out there on how to combat the seasonal blues, such as supplementing your Vitamin D intake. Meanwhile, we have looked into the ways in which people don't simply make it through the long winter nights, but actively embrace it.
It is very natural to feel like slowing down in winter. Animals hibernate, trees drop their leaves, winter really is the time to rejuvenate. Obviously, our lives have evolved since humans could completely fit in with the rest of the sleeping nature. With work, duties and responsibilities, it feels as though the show must go on as usual. But there is no harm in making space for a more relaxed recovery from the daily hustle. Arguably, it will be more effective than denying and ignoring our bodies cues and making ourselves even more tired.
This is definitely not a new concept. Many countries around the world, particularly those further up north that experience prolonged nights, have developed customs and traditions in winter that embrace the hours darkness.
We have talked about the concept of hygge, and colsie in Scotland
, which puts the concept of cosiness and staying inside into focus. As a candle company, we will never argue that a night in, wrapped In a blanket in front of a fire place with a great candle lit, is a bad idea.
However, we’ve discovered that those who are happy to venture out into the colder and darker afternoons and evenings, can have a great time with it. For instance, in Finland, where the night can be up to 19 hours, they enjoy “Pikkujoulu-season”. From as early as the start of November, there are pre-Christmas markets happening around Finland. A chance to enjoy music, dancing, Christmas lights and glögi or mulled wine. In Alaska, they host a week long “Iceworm Festival” including a parade, where a 100 ft long ice worm takes to the street in January, to break up the winter blues.
But besides festive, creative and quirky activities, the longer winter nights are sought after season for those who wish to see Aurora Borealis. This is a big part of tourist industry in Iceland, Greenland and parts of Sweden, Finland and Norway. And not to brag, but on occasion the Northern Lights can be seen in Scotland and our beautiful Isle of Skye too!
Image by Jack Anstey/rawpixel
Do you have your own highlight to look forward to in winter?