After generations of coping with cold winters – which last from roughly October to April, with a hazy period of autumn and spring at either end– Icelanders have some expert tips to ensure your survival.
Head to the swimming pool
The public geothermal swimming pools dotted around Reykjavik are your best friend during the long, winter months. Open from very early in the morning until late in the evening, giving you ample time before and after work, a daily routine of hot and cold hydrotherapy will help your skin feel fresh, your muscles relaxed, and your mind calm. An added benefit is the communal bonding with friends and neighbours – a very important part of surviving the sometimes monotonous days of winter. If you can manage to get out of the city and visit a natural hotpot, even better. Some of the swimming pools offer a sunlamp in the common area, which can be great for battling winter depression. Alternatively, try winter swimming in the sea.