Finland is known for its long, dark and coooold winters. No wonder we are experts when it comes to winter survival tricks!
Find out our five favorite strategies for fighting off the winter blues and making the best out of the season.
With around 3.3 million saunas Finland is undoubtedly the sauna capital of the world. That said, a hot bath in the sauna is probably the best antidote to cold and humid weather!
But that's not the full story…
In Finland we have this weird tradition called “winter swimming” which is exactly what it sounds like. Some of us get together, drive out to a frozen lake, drill a hole in the ice, and go swimming in the icy cold water...for fun.
And if you ask yourself, why on earth anyone would ever want to do that, it’s because you’ve never experienced the amazing feeling you feel AFTER getting out. The adrenaline rush and euphoria is hard to describe!
Of course the entire ritual always ends with everyone back in the sauna to warm up the body thoroughly. Nothing more relaxing than this!
The Danish recipe for Hygge is not that different from the Finnish one - the Danes just managed to find a better word for it!
Hygge refers to everything that is cozy and comforting. Candle light, Christmas lights, spending time with your loved ones, comfort food, homely decorations...
In Finland we prefer to drink “glögi”, the Finnish version of mulled wine, while munching some Finnish gingerbread cookies and Finnish Christmas pastries that are filled with plums.
There's also a bunch of foods that are particularly tasty in winter. One national dish that is very popular is the Karelian Stew, a traditional meat stew that combines beef, pork and lamb meat and is seasoned with peppercorn and allspice.
If you don't have Karelian Stew or Finnish glögi available in your region, don´t worry. Any tasty comfort food will do the trick! You could also head to your closest IKEA and get some Swedish Christmas delicacies. They´re little different than in Finland, but still have that special Scandinavian vibe.
Lack of sunlight is one of the most depressing and tiring things about winter. In the Northern regions of Finland there is a phase called “kaamos”, when the sun disappears completely for a few weeks. That means that it is dark 24/7…
Luckily there's a solution for this problem as well: bright light treatment.
A bright light device efficiently compensates for lack of natural light in the dark season. In fact, , increasingly many people have managed to beat the winter blues with bright light therapy.
Research shows that bright light therapy has a number of benefits: it increases energy levels and alertness, and helps maintain work motivation. It also increases serotonin levels which in turn improves our mood.
Typically Finnish winter sports include skiing, ice skating, snowboarding and ice hockey. As you can imagine, we Finns love them all!
If you are feeling sluggish or just lazy, our recommendation is: Get moving and make it fun!
We know it can be tempting to stay on the couch and binge watch Netflix, especially if the weather is wet and cold. The best way to combat your inner couch potato is to just get dressed up warmly (there's no bad weather, just inappropriate clothing!) and head out, be it for a walk, a run or another form of exercise.
Pikkujoulut means “little Christmas” and refers to a non-formal party held to anticipate Christmas. It's also a pretty effective strategy to survive the darkest month of the year, December.
A pikkujoulu party usually combines MANY of the elements mentioned above: Hygge, Sauna, good food and lots of fun!
We´re aware that this year things might be quite different due to the pandemic and big parties are banned in most countries. As a replacement we suggest organizing a virtual pikkujoulu party.
All the participants dress up at their homes, get their favorite food and drink ready and start a video conference. Sorry, we forgot one important thing! Get out your air guitar as well.
Air guitar is another thing Finns are masters at, and it is definitely a great way to fight off a low mood.
As you can see: Winter can actually be quite fun. The key is to create a mix of entertaining, comforting, energizing and relaxing activities to cheer up your day. In the midst of a pandemic that can be a bit more challenging than usual, but luckily things can be done alone, with social distancing or even virtually.
Do you take any supplements on a regular basis?
Our modern diets provide less and less of the vitamins and minerals we all need for our health and well-being. Modern farming methods strip nutrients from the soil, while pasteurization, pesticides and other chemicals ensure that what we eat and drink is stripped of essential vitamins and minerals.
To ensure that we are providing our bodies with all the necessary minerals and vitamins daily, supplements are a fantastic solution. Although taking supplements seems simple, there are many ways to make mistakes. Taking vitamins correctly can have an impact on how much your health benefits.
How certain are you about your supplement routine?
In this article, we inform you about some common mistakes people make when taking supplements. Learn from the pitfalls and avoid them in your own healthy routine!
"Death sits in the bowel!”, even Hippocrates recognized the importance of the gut for health. But why so negative, Hippocrates?!
Our opinion on that:LIFE SITS ALSO IN THE BOWEL!
You've probably heard of the importance of your gut health. Apart from the digestive function, the provision of nutrients and vitamins and the elimination of digested food, the intestine also contains an important component of our immune system. Therefore, the health of your gut is extremely important and crucial for your health and well-being! The gut deserves very special attention, which is why in this article we'll cover all the important questions about intestinal health, gut flora balance and probiotics.
Learn why probiotics are important for your gut flora and how you can benefit from them!
"There should be effective supplements on the international market that are as pure as Nordic nature!" This was the thought of Otso Kääriäinen, founder & CEO of AAVALABS, when he decided to start the company together with his parents 10 years ago.
Otso comes from Finland and grew up with the mindset that nature provides us with all the ingredients we need to promote our well-being. With this strong belief, he built AAVALABS together with his parents and started to develop pure and fresh supplements.
Learn more about the story behind AAVALABS and how Otso made his vision come true!