Coming from a tropical country, it’s a strange feeling to have different seasons other than the two; long and short rains. The new school term or semester begins in September marking the beginning of autumn or fall. Trees covered by rusty brown leaves and eventual falling of the leaves. Like the leaves, the temperature also falls, the days becomes shorter and the sky is often grey (Small chance of looking at stars). Sigh! People’s energy levels also take a dip. Here are a few tips on how to beat the autumn blues:
Do not panic… there are lights everywhere. Jyväskylä is known as the city of lights. Let me rephrase it, Finland’s own City of Light. I was surprised the first time; my flatmate took me to a running track in the forest that was lit. There are few areas in Jyväskylä that are dark (except deep in the forest). Normal activities are carried out even when the sunsets at 3 pm (that is not a typo; night comes early at this time of year). Check out this website: http://valonkaupunki.jyvaskyla.fi/english/cityoflight
Dress like a kid… I don’t mean literally wear the same clothes but dress as warm as one. If you are not sure as to how warmly dressed you should be, observe what they (children) wear; if they are wearing gloves and jackets, do the same. The trick is layering. Wear as many layers of clothes, it keeps the warmth in and if too much, peeling off the layers will cool you off. A pipo (Finnish, for woollen hat) will be your best friend. You might also notice people sporting reflectors; it is for your safety and the safety of everyone else. If you decide to buy a bike, include in your budget a bike lamp or headlamp unless included in the price.
Add a little sun into your room… I will not go into specifics of how a full-spectrum light bulb works, all that I will say for now is that, it ‘mimics’ the sun. The general benefits are improved concentration, less eye strain, improved mood and better colour perception. But why not use a compact fluorescent light bulb? Yes, you can use them, they are generally cheaper than full-spectrum bulbs except may be the difference is in the light temperature. It is better than using incandescent yellow light bulbs, trust me I have experienced it. Early morning sunshine is a good source of vitamin D but since that will be in short supply; the next best thing is to take vitamin D supplements or foods rich in vitamin D like cheese and salmon.
Take a walk… Or a jog or a bike ride or join the gym. The temperatures may be low but exercise is still important during this period. Maintaining a regular routine will ensure that the body clock does not become chaotic. The university of Jyväskylä is equipped with indoor sports. (supervised and unsupervised activities). If you are not a sporty person, there are organised hobby groups and clubs in scattered all over the city. Activities ranging from board games, knitting, cooking classes, dance classes, martial arts, DIY (Do It Yourself) groups, cultural conversation groups, singing… the list is quite large so I will save time and stop there.