Chasing Away the Winter Blues

During the summer, I had difficulty sleeping because it’s still bright at 10 or 11 in the evening. This time, during autumn/winter, I have difficulty staying awake in the afternoon! And, it’ll get darker soon! Since everything is a first for me, I’m still exploring and trying out different options to chase away the winter blues.

I don’t mind how cold it gets, because as Swedes say,

“There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes.

But, lately, I’ve been on an emotional roller coaster. Sometimes I’m energetic, then all of a sudden, I don’t have energy at all. It’s hard to concentrate as well, especially at work! I feel like I zone out most of the time (especially in the afternoon). My mind thinks that the day starts to end as soon as the sun goes down. Imagine seeing the sunset at around 2:30 or 3:00 PM.

Soon it’s Christmas, and it’s one of the reasons why I’m feeling sad lately. I want to see my family and celebrate Christmas (and also New Year’s) with them, but I won’t be able to go home. My homesickness probably adds to this winter blues as well.

After a month, I realized that I have to do something about this, and not just sit on my couch, watch K-drama then sleep. To the point that I got so bored, I decided to cut my hair! Don’t cringe yet, I ended up going to the salon the next day! Also, winter in Sweden is beautiful too!

So far, these things help me chase away the winter blues:

1. Waking up early and going to work early

Because I cannot concentrate pretty well in the afternoon, I decided to wake up early and go to work as early as possible. I get things done during the morning, and I slowly finish my tasks in the afternoon. In that way, I could still feel productive for the entire day.

2. Working out in the afternoon

I like how it only takes me 5 minutes to go to the gym from my apartment. After work, if I don’t have plans, I get home straight and eat some snacks before going to the gym. I try to work out at least twice a week!

3. Keeping myself busy in the afternoon

It doesn’t have to be the productive kind of busy, but I keep myself occupied. I noticed that my mood becomes different in the afternoon – like I get sad or feel tired all of a sudden. Also, I realized that I stay on social media longer than I should! I shouldn’t, and it’s not healthy too!

4. Caffeine!

I probably had too much caffeine lately because I’ve been up until 12. I still wake up at 5 AM and feel energized for some reason. It makes me excited to start a new day. But, during the afternoon, caffeine has no effect on me! Regardless if I had a cup or two, I still feel sleepy.

5. Thinking positive

Thankfully the waiting game for everything is over! I no longer have to wait for my work permit extension, personnummer, Swedish ID card, regularization, etc. I couldn’t imagine how I would feel now if I’m still waiting for those documents.

6. Planning

Now that Miguel will soon arrive, I’m busy planning our activities while he’s here! We cannot travel outside Sweden yet because he has a single-entry visa only, but at least Sweden is huge, and we have a lot of places that we can visit. Aside from planning our trips or activities, I plan my finances for next year because, finally, I’ll be done with my deductions at work!

I can already prioritize paying my credit cards debt, sending money to my family and saving up for my sister’s college tuition fee! You can do it, self! If you’d noticed, I am open about my financial situations because I get annoyed when some people think I have a lot of money now that I’m working abroad. ?

7. Getting much sunshine

With only a few hours of sun every day, people could get less exposure to sunlight. I read that we need at least 15 minutes of sunshine, so during lunchtime, I walk outside and enjoy the sun. Last month, I could barely see the sun because the weather in Stockholm was grey, cloudy and depressing!

I’m still at that point where I’m looking forward to winter to experience snow for the first time. I was ecstatic when I saw the snow last week and hoped there’ll be more. Yes, more snow and sun! I’d rather have a snowy and snowy day, than rainy days! I think it’s the worst; unless I could stay indoors for the rest of the day.

The winter blues are real, people! I’m hoping to feel a lot better in the upcoming weeks especially since Miguel is coming. It’s always 100x better when you have company! I want to try different winter activities as well, but we’ll see.

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