Finland. While I love it, I hate it a little bit. See, I think that the history of the mankind went something like this: We were in a very dark cave for a veeeery long time. In a dark cave where it was cold and depressing. There was nothing to do. Except chewing on some leftover meat that had some delicious mold on it, and some very dry carrots. And people occasionally looked funny in the dark which was entertaining at first, but got scary very fast.
Until one day, a wise man, who probably had an IQ of 160, had an enlightening that inspired his whole tribe like nobody had before. And generations to come would remember the words he spoke and youngsters would return to his golden wisdom over and over again, to gain the clarity and courage for a glorious change, moved by his words:
”This sucks! Let’s get the hell out of this cave!”
And so they left and went outside. And behold, outside they all realized that hey, caves suck, and being out in the sun doesn’t!
And because of this they lived happily ever after in the brilliant daylight.
Until finally some guy decided to check out what’s in the North. He walked and walked, until it got dark. From the darkness he noticed a wall with some white walkers and decided to built a society there were nobody would get rich but that would be okay because everyone had their basic needs met. They called this new place Finland!
Okay, I admit that even though I don’t have a degree in history I know it didn’t go exactly like that. But yeah, while we have things pretty great in here, we have that one thing. The darkness.
And when it’s dark outside it feels like being back in the cave. You can’t see outside from your windows, your body produces melatonin and your energies and productivity are way low. At times, non-existant.
Every fall I declare myself an autumn person. And I do love autumn. But after the Halloween fun is gone, there’s just dark until Christmas. And now that we’re increasingly more often without snow that brings luminosity to our winters, our winters are just dark, wet and cold.
And it sucks.
And we can’t get out of it. Unless we take a plane and fly off to somewhere closer to the hemisphere.
Evenings really get to me. I feel empty and numb and nothing interests me. And that also sucks for the person I live with, because if they ask what’s wrong with me, I get pressure for feeling that way and I get even more anxious and feel guilty. And that makes it worse for both of us.
BUT on the good side, if this can be called the winter blues or seasonal depression – now that I know that the darkness gets me, I can just explain this to my fiance and ask them to tolerate my grumpy face and being.
The mornings, though. Getting up and getting active right away is tough but mornings are way more positive because the darkness will shift eventually. Around 9 am. And then there will be light until 3 pm. That is if you can call it light, it’s not like we have brilliant sunlight – more like lighter shades of grey. During this time I live for that first cup of coffee I get in the morning.
You can more easily help the future-miserable-you when you’re not in that dark place.
So one morning, which was exceptionally productive, I made some changes. I had gone to the gym at 7 am so I was full of energy when I got home at 9 am, and I put my room full of lights and dug up things that are supposed to boost energy levels.
To my surprise, this stuff has worked quite well! In some ways. The problem is that I can’t do this to the whole house and while I love my home office room, I can’t spend my whole day there, because that would also make me miserable.
So my final tip is to get in the dark. Take just a little walk outside. Go buy some tea from the nearby grocery shop or find any kind of little reason to get you out from the cave. I know it doesn’t look inviting outside. It’s wet and cold and it sucks. But just getting out for five minutes might boost the mood.
Wishing you warm tea and warm thoughts.
All photos and paintings are (c) Annamari Kuvaja