From Iceland — Welcome To The Dark Side

Welcome To The Dark Side

Welcome To The Dark Side

Published January 23, 2015

Snow, darkness, SAD – is it time to hibernate?

Elín Traustadóttir
Photo by
Sébastien van Malleghem
Nanna Dís

Snow, darkness, SAD – is it time to hibernate?

Winter is upon us. It’s here, enshrouding your very being in short, frosty days with only a few hours of sunlight, followed by long, frozen, windy nights. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

Some handle it just fine, getting cosy at home as the weather settles in. But the less fortunate ones will suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD. They will struggle to get out of bed until spring arrives. Not being able to wake up in the morning becomes standard for many people; their lives become a bleak, sunless pit of frozen darkness. It’s hard.

If winter is your least favourite season: we hear you. January in Iceland can really suck. It has the shortest days and the coldest temperatures, which can in turn lead to a lack of energy, mood swings and difficulty sleeping, to name a few common side effects of SAD.

Still! There’s hope! Whether you’re happily withdrawing into your home, feeling a bit drained, or struggling with the trials of full-blown SAD, there are plenty of things to do to brighten your days and your life. In this issue, we take a look at some options and activities—be they attending Iceland’s first music festival of 2015, Dark Music Days, or making the most of Reykjavík’s many picturesque corners; or taking some advice from a psychologist or sleep specialist.

What we mean to say is: we have some suggestions on getting through the bleakest midwinter.

And, here’s some cold comfort: we’re already past the worst. Winter Solstice, December 21st, marked the shortest day and the longest night of the year, when the North Pole was tilted away from the sun at 23.5 degrees. It’s already getting better by the day.

From now on, your days will continue to get brighter, figuratively and literally. And, hopefully, our tips will help speed up the process.

You may also be interested in the following articles:


We spoke to an Icelandic sleep specialist about the effects of winter—and how to fight back


Erla_By_Paal_Lund-1Darker Still

If you’re living in Svalbard, three hours of sun is a luxury



Remain In Light- Sebastien van MalleghemRemain In Light

A survival guide for the darkest months

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