Finnish winter! 4 +1 tips on tackling the cold season.

How to survive the Finnish winter? 4+1 tips on tackling the cold season. The answer to the question above is not ”Fly to Spain” though some of you might have heard this is the solution. Yes, some of us Finns deal with the snowy, dark and cold season by simply dodging it, but where’s the fun in that? We claim sticking around is far more pleasant, and now we’ll tell you exactly why.

Drink coffee. Loads of it. Well, this is quite obvious, but had to be said. Maybe the long and dark winter has something to do with the fact that us Finns are the heaviest coffee consumers in the world*? Nevertheless, great coffee is always helpful when in need of refreshment. The good thing about Finland is that here’s also a wonderful café culture, so you can enjoy your daily dose of caffeine in a nice atmosphere, meet friends and stay social!

Picks for best coffee spots in Helsinki city center – close to our campus - are Tiedekulma, Paulig Kulma and Roasberg.

Get yourself a wake-up light. They are a bit expensive but totally worth the money! A light that comes with an alarm clock is the most handy. It simulates the sunrise in your bedroom, and if you’re not awake when ”the sun” is up it starts making a noise.  This ”sun” might not keep you warm but otherwise it’s just like the real thing? Or at least the closest thing to sun we have here during the darkest time in November… so this is why the next tip is really important.

Get outside every time you see the sun actually shining. This is crucial to your well-being! There are never too many sunny days, and especially during the wintertime all of them should be appreciated and enjoyed outside. Besides – the sunny winter days are spectacular! Go wandering in the forest or to the seaside and admire the sunset colors. Pure winter magic!

(But since getting enough sunlight in Finland during the winter is a bit unlikely, also adding Vitamin-D to your daily breakfast routine is warmly recommended.)

Think of dressing up as a form of art. Dressing up in winter is so much more fun compared to summertime! Who doesn’t love long johns under their jeans, multi-layering, wool socks, thick beanies, mittens that get lost at least 3 times a day and so on. The only down side is you have to take 10 minutes extra time every time when leaving the house, since gearing up takes a lot of time. You’ll also have to remember the right order when layering (wear merino wool closest to skin and you’ll never feel cold again!). Oh, and remember to have enough space for extra socks in your winter boots, and a winter coat that can handle rain, wind and minus degrees.

…or maybe it’s easier just to stay in and pour yourself yet another cup of tea. That’ll keep you warm.

+ Remember to dream of summer days!

Text: Laura Rumbin (writer, blogger and photographer). Check the Fall into Finland blog.

* Top 10 coffee consuming nations