Keep in mind that you are not alone.
Do you have a constant feeling of exhaustion? Are you having trouble sleeping? Are you feeling a little down? Do you have a sweet tooth but do not want to go for a jog outside? You’re not alone, so don’t worry. All of this is known in Finland as “kaamosoireet,” or seasonal affective disorder. One in every five Finnish individuals is severely impacted by the symptoms. The main reason behind this is that there isn’t enough light for the brain to determine the proper circadian rhythm and synchronize your body clock. Some famous darkness quotes may help you to find your way.
The equator, according to Minna Huotilainen, a brain researcher at the University of Helsinki, would be the optimum location for human brains to live: 12 hours of light and sun followed by the same number of hours of profound darkness at night. In contrast, Helsinki receives fewer than 6 hours of daylight on the darkest day of the year, the winter solstice in December. So don’t be concerned; it’s not about you or Finnish culture; it’s entirely physiological!
Take a break in the middle of the day and go outdoors.
Minna Huotilainen, a brain researcher, recommends going outdoors around midday to cope with the darkness. That is when you will gain the maximum benefit from the sun’s beams. Exercise also helps to synchronize the circadian cycle more successfully outside during the day than it does inside at night.
So schedule a time to go outdoors on your calendar. Even a short stroll might be beneficial. On your day off or weekend, visit one of the many fantastic outdoor sites in and around Helsinki, such as Nuuksio National Park or the Suomenlinna islands, to live like the locals. Even if you don’t have time to enjoy the outdoors during the day, exercise on a regular basis; it will help to alleviate seasonal affective disorder symptoms. Remember to cease exercising a couple of hours before bedtime to get a decent night’s sleep.
Allow yourself to be bathed in light.
Light therapy lamps have been shown in studies to aid with seasonal affective disorder symptoms. You should spend 30 to 60 minutes each day bathing in light. Before nine o’clock in the morning, light treatment is most effective. So, as soon as you wake up, let the light shine on you!
A dawn simulator, sometimes known as a wake-up light, might be beneficial. It functions in the same way as the sun does in the morning. Just before the alarm goes off, the quantity of light in the room gradually rises, so you don’t have to wake up in the dark!
Indulge in some hygge in the evening
Have you heard of the Danish concept of hygge? It’s a popular Danish term that signifies “comfort and coziness.”
Fortunately, hygge’s golden age has arrived. Autumn and winter in Finland are a time to relax at home and enjoy the coziness, so light some candles and curl up on the couch beneath a blanket.
Evening hygge, it turns out, is also excellent for our brains at this time of year. It provides the brain with the needed contrast between day and night. Your brain must be busy during the day (passive sitting in front of a computer does not satisfy this description) and relaxed at night in order to maintain a good circadian rhythm.
When the rhythm is disrupted, it might be difficult to go asleep and wake up at night. As a consequence, according to Minna Huotilainen, a brain researcher, the brain will not have enough time to do its task. The brain, for example, requires the night to process memories and emotions.
Turn on your devices’ night light settings.
There are a lot of discussions these days about how gazing at the computer and phone displays disrupt sleep. This is undoubtedly the case if you read business e-mails or prepare a presentation for the next day just before bedtime. However, according to Minna Huotilainen, a brain researcher, computers and phones are not completely wicked.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re looking at a TV, a phone, or a laptop, as long as the screen color is suitable for the occasion. Our bodies are fooled into believing it’s noon because bluish-white is the color of midday sunshine. As a result, during the evening, you should change the screen’s color to a reddish hue. There are several free programs available for this, including f.lux. The night light on many mobile devices may be set to turn on automatically at a certain hour. It also helps to reduce the brightness of the backdrop color.
If someone offers you another cup of coffee, politely decline.
Coffee is a favorite beverage among Finns. The typical Finnish adult consumes five cups of coffee each day. As a consequence, you’ll almost certainly be served coffee at every opportunity. Caffeine, on the other hand, may make sleeping difficult. And the following day, when you’re sleepy, you’ll most likely remedy the issue by drinking more coffee. As a result, the vicious cycle is set in motion.
It’s recommended to stop drinking coffee no later than five or six o’clock in the evening if you want to maximize the quantity of sleep you receive in order to deal better with the darkness.
Make new friends
It’s easy to feel lonely when you glance out the window at the gloomy landscape. Even if you live in the nation’s capital, you’re unlikely to see anybody, much alone see any lights.
Instead of being alone, contact a buddy and set up a date! Visiting one of Helsinki’s fantastic public saunas is a great opportunity to meet new people. At the same time, you’ll receive a genuine taste of Finnish culture as well as a relaxed body and mind!
People may be found in libraries as well. Take a seat in a comfy chair at the beautiful new Oodi central library and read while taking in the views of the city.
Even if access limits are tightened, you may still meet new people by going for a winter stroll or organizing a virtual dinner with pals.
Enter the realm of bliss
It’s all too easy to overlook the colors and fragrances of summer in Helsinki throughout the winter. Fortunately, you can always go to the Winter Garden or the Kaisaniemi Botanic Garden. Set among the palms, inhale the aromas, and take in the tropical atmosphere, blossoming plants, and lush vegetation. You may also bring your watercolors if you like painting!