writer: Emma Ranne
picture: Emma Ranne
Here in Finland we only have a couple of hours of light during the gloomiest months of the winter. Not seeing that much of the sun and missing out on those few hours of light when at work or school, will of course have some effect on your energy levels.
How can you boost your winter time energy to keep you going no matter how dark, cold and wet it is out there? We gathered our best tips, that work for us when (most of the time) thriving through the Finnish winter.
Now it’s of course starting to get lighter and lighter day by day, but I though this would still be nice to share with you even though we’re about to shift from winter to spring soon.
1. Chase the light
Try to catch those few light hours by going out during the day. Even if just for a tiny 10 minute walk (if school or work is holding you back), it will make an instant difference. It doesn’t even matter if the sun isn’t out, just the fresh breeze and that bit of natural light will do.
2. Cozy up
Accept the winter as it is and make the most out of it. Horrible weather outside? Gather your friends, light up some candles and host a cozy little curry night. To add some extra fun you could throw in some board games as well. It’s completely ok (and very much human) to not feel energized at all times. Allow yourself more sleep, take it easy, and try to create some extra coziness whenever and wherever you can.
3. But stay active
This is as important as to allow yourself to get cozy: stay active. Go for a walk, hit the gym, do some yoga. When your blood gets flowing and your heart pumping you will soon feel reborn. Chase those endorphins even though you might need to push it a little on those pitch black rainy mornings.
4. Vitamin D
This is something I should definitely up my game in and take better care of. In the summer vitamin D comes provided by the sun, but in the winter you can’t quite rely on that. Don’t forget to introduce vitamin D supplements to your daily food palette during the darker months! In Finland the recommendation for adults varies from a daily 10-30 micro gram vitamim D boost, from the start of September to the end of April. Vitamin D supplements aren't always vegan so be sure to check that with the pharmasist. Here's one good option by Terranova.
5. Light therapy
We Finns just don’t give in and go on with full ‘‘sisu’’ when it comes to the darkness. If there’s no sun light to wake us up, we’ll just take care of it ourselves. Light therapy lamps have during the past few years become a gadget found in almost every Finnish home. It’s a lamp that is as bright as natural light, and can be used in the mornings and during the day to wake up your body and make it believe it’s day and not night (as that’s what your body thinks when it’s dark out there). The thought of having an artificial sun might sound a bit sad, but even though my slightly critical preassumptions I’ve found this to be one of the most effective tools to tackle the winter dip.
By now I’m just really really looking forward to the warmer months. I miss the sun, long days and my summer warderobe. But hey we’re getting there!
Meanwhile…What is your favourite winter survival tip?