I live in Finland.
There are many benefits to living in this country that I’m grateful for. We have strong coffee, plenty of beautiful nature, and a pretty good social security system.
But anyone who has ever experienced a winter in Finland knows the physical and mental toll that the darkness can have on you. It’s brutal. Even the most southern parts of the country only get a couple of hours of light per day.
Soon you begin to feel constantly tired, and it’s especially hard to get out of bed when it’s pitch black outside.
Because of this, we Finns tend to have a lot of different strategies for staying energized during the darkest months. These are some of mine:
When there is no sunshine, you’ve gotta get your Ds from somewhere else. I’ve read that vitamin D deficiency can lead to fatigue and that plenty of people suffer from it. So I usually supplements them between October and March. It seems best not to take any chances with that.
These are also packed with vitamins. Since they are in season, there’s plenty to choose from in the shops for cheap prices. I’ve always thought there’s something so uplifting about the bright colors and the tanginess of for example oranges, clementines and grapefruits.
Nothing can make you as happy and energized as a really good uptempo song. I love listening to music when I’m writing, sitting in the tram or doing the dishes. It puts a smile on my face.
Go outside – even if it’s dark
Fresh air + physical activity will make you feel better, even when the only light source you have comes from streetlamps. Even 10 minutes of walking outside can make you feel better in every way.
Buying a few candles is a pretty small investment considering how cozy they can make a room. Don’t just save them for special occasions, today is special. I already have a bunch that smell like Christmas, and I’ll be burning them throughout this month and the next.
C’mon, you didn’t think I would leave it off this list, did you? Coffee might not be the cure for everything, but it sure does give you energy. If coffee isn’t your thing, then tea works just as well.
Cuddle with a pet
If you have a cute animal to hang out with, then do that. Animals don’t seem to care about the changes happening like us – a dog will be crazy excited to go outside regardless if it’s sunny or dark. Pets are also good for reminding us to take naps more often. Our dog takes like 50 naps per day (isn’t her life amazing?).