The cold and dark winter is coming, with short days and long nights. It’s very important to keep ourselves warm and healthy during this season. Some people underestimate the consequences if you aren’t precautious during the winter.
Vitamins and the solarium
Emilie Ellinor Skjelle, a student, says - My mother noticed that I was feeling down during the winter, so she recommended me to take vitamin D. It really helps me, because when it gets cold I don’t get enough sunlight. The province where I come from is Østfold. There it gets really cold, down to -30° C sometimes.
When the winters are long she uses a kind of ‘cold cream’. It’s good for your skin and then you won’t get any frostbite. Her tips are to always dress warmly and don’t go outside with wet hair. If you do, you will definitely catch a cold.
Another student, Kamilla Tellefsen, takes a lot of precautions during winter. She eats healthy food and takes vitamin C, vitamin D and Iron supplements. She even goes to the solarium a few times a month. She started being precautious because of her kidney disease. Kamilla has Pyelonephritis, an infection that travels from your urine tract up to your kidneys. Girls can get easily infected if they don’t keep their feet warm.
- Before I really didn’t take good care of myself during the winter. It’s very important to keep your feet warm, because you can get sick. I didn’t dress warm enough and that’s how I got the infection, Kamilla states.
The solarium helps you to feel less tired and gives you more energy. Her doctor recommended her to try it. Also, drinking tea with honey is good to avoid a throat infection.
Å kose seg
Inger Strand, a Norwegian teacher, explains that the best way to survive the winter is to just enjoy it. The only thing that makes the Scandinavian winter different is the darkness. In other countries the temperature is about the same.
- The most important thing is that you get enough daylight. I always tell my students to go outside, before it’s dark. You can study or go to the library afterwards.
She explains that your body has something called Melatonin and it gets activated every time your body receives some sunlight. So have enough breaks and go for a walk in nature during the day.
For ten years she has lived in Tromsø, northern Norway. From November until January it’s total darkness: - Returning to Volda was a kind of medicine for me. Here it’s not so dark compared to where I come from. My parents were always complaining about the winter, but as a child I never understood why. Now that I’m older I perfectly understand.
- There is this Norwegian saying: Å kose seg, which means you should have a good time. Drink some hot chocolate or tea, invite some friends over and have long conversations or read a good novel of five hundred pages. These are all the things you can do now, because during summer you’re busy and most of the time outdoors, says Strand.
Eli Anne Løksa, a student counsellor, says that you have to find an activity or a hobby that you like. Even if you’re tired, you have to push yourself to do something: - You have to be aware that you’re not able to do things like in summer. You have to find a balance between rest and being active. Find positive things to do: skiing, wear colourful clothes, have a good routine, enough healthy food and vitamins.
Enjoy the winter and be positive
Vidar Myklebust, a psychologist, explains that humans react the same way as animals do. They adapt themselves in the winter and so do we. During winter we can allow ourselves to take it easy. It’s all about biology and there’s nothing we can change about that. He says what we can change is the way we think and behave: - If you wake up every day and think it’s going to be another miserable day, then it will be.
- The winter has positive qualities as well. There are lots of things you can’t do in summer. Make your home cosy with friends and candle lights and perhaps try some winter sports, notes Myklebust.
Enjoy the dark part of the year.