Finnish winters can be tough for some international students who are not used to living in cold weather. With short days, grey skies, limited hours of sunlight, and chilly temperatures, winter in Finland may sound a little intimidating at first. However, there are lots of things to do during wintertime, and these tips should help ease your experience!
1. Find a new hobby
During winter, you will probably spend more time than usual indoors. You can use this extra time to take up a new hobby. Maybe you have always wanted to start knitting …or you’ve had a book on your reading list for a long time, or you would like to start trying new recipes. Winter is a great time to pick up a new hobby!
2. Don’t be too hard on yourself
You might find yourself a little extra tired during winter and have less motivation to get outside and do something. It is okay to take some time to give yourself a break and curl up with a blanket on some days, light some candles, and just relax.
3. Embrace winter with outdoor sports
During winter, there are lots of activities to do outside. You can pick up ice skating, cross-country skiing, hockey, sledding, snowshoeing, or downhill skiing. You can rent equipment or buy equipment secondhand at many thrift stores. Remember to dress warmly and grab your friends to try out a new winter sport! If sports are not your thing, simply going for a short walk when the sun is shining in winter can do wonders for your mood.
4. Stay hydrated
During wintertime, you may tend to drink more coffee or hot drinks, which is ok, but remember to also drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. Talk to a pharmacist if you are used to getting a lot of sunlight, as you might need Vitamin D supplements as well to make up for the reduced time spent in the sun. It is also good to stock up on lotion and chapstick to offset the dry winter air. Some people also use sunlamps, and there is one free for students to use in the library near the info desk.
5. Go to Sauna
Saunas are great for your health year-round, but they are especially enjoyable during wintertime. If you live in LOAS buildings, you likely have a sauna in your building with weekly turns for Men and Women. You can also pay a small fee for booking the sauna for private use or with a group of friends. Most apartment buildings in Finland have a sauna, and there are also many public saunas as well as saunas available for booking with a fee around the city of Lappeenranta.