Hej! My name is Anna Hentunen. I am a second year master’s student in the program International and Comparative Education. I was born in Helsinki, Finland. I enjoy hosting parties for family and friends, going to the gym and listening to Christmas songs year-round
I moved to Stockholm over a year ago. I did not come from far, though. I am originally from Helsinki, Finland. Moving to the “south” has been great. I get to go on more cruises, the warm Gulf Stream reaches Sweden way better than Finland and my sense of style has improved with the increasing peer pressure from trendy Swedish youth. Despite all of this, one lurking thing has not changed. The darkness.
Every winter, I am struck with SAD, or seasonal affective disorder. I notice myself feeling more dispirited and lazy. All I want to do is stay in bed and my consumption of Nutella goes through the roof.
After years of perfecting them, I have found helpful ways to endure the gloomy season. Here are my tips to survive this winter!
1. Wake up earlier
At the start of my studies, I was a big night owl and preferred sleeping in. Now I try and optimize the time I have with the sun and like to get up at dawn, even on my days off!
2. Do the hard stuff in the morning
I have more energy when it is light outside. I try and get the hardest tasks of the day done first thing in the morning. I can watch movies guilt-free in the evening.
3. Get creative with lighting
Candles, fairy lights, disco balls – make the darkness your friend and test out new ways to bring in light. You can also purchase a daylight bright lamp, which comes highly recommended. It can help you wake up in the morning and focus while studying.
4. Get moving
From improved mood to less achiness over all, getting some type of exercise in is always a good idea.
5. Embrace the “no-effort look”
While it is dark outside, even the Swedish youth won’t be able to spot you. I wear my most impressive lazy outfits in the wintertime.
6. Eat well and supplement
I have noticed a significant improvement in mood when I consume a vitamin D supplement. I have also noticed a significant improvement in mood when I consume chocolate. Both are acceptable ways to fight back.
7. Make an effort to meet others
Leaving the house becomes much harder when it is dark and cold outside. Make plans ahead of time to meet friends and stick to your commitments. Stockholm has a great variety of cozy cafés and bars.
8. Use a reflector
It is a cheap life insurance, and so helpful to drivers.
I hope these tips help you and will spark some inspiration. Stay safe this winter!