5 winter survival tips from Like A Local

Source: Mariann Liimal

5 winter survival tips from Like A Local

Kris Härsing is a seasoned traveller who has lived around the world but was born and raised in Tallinn. Like many residents of the North, she has a few tips and tricks for not only surviving long winters but falling in love with them. Kris is a contributor to Like A Local, the Tallinn-based online platform sharing insider tips with travellers.

Adapting to conditions

As the saying in Estonia goes, there's no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.

Photo by Tõnu Runnel

According to various research studies, seasonal depression is very common in Estonia due to the long, dark, and harsh winters. In the depths of winter the days are really short and we rarely see the sun, not to mention the freezing temperatures that can drop as low as -30° C. It's no wonder people living here get sad and tired! Luckily, during my 20+ years of having to cope with Estonian winters, I've learnt a few tricks to make them more bearable.

1. Get your vitamins

One of the main reasons we get so sad and tired during winter is vitamin deficiency. Firstly, we don't produce nearly as much vitamin D as we need because of a lack of sunshine. One solution is to take a trip to a warmer country, but many of us don't have this possibility. Another option is to occasionally visit a sunbed, but this comes with health risks, plus a lot of people tend to overdo it and end up looking like grilled chickens. Vitamin D of course isn't the only vitamin we have a shortage of. During winter the availability of many fruits and vegetables is limited, and the ones that are available often taste like plastic (have you ever tried those sad reddish rocks they call tomatoes?). Long story short – it's important that you get your vitamins somehow, whether from tasteless fruit or from a jar. Just make sure you get them!

Get outside with friends

Try a new winter sport like sledging, skiing, or snowshoeing with good company.

Photo by Tõnu Tunnel

2. Engage in a social hobby

In summer Estonians literally live in nature and spend all their free time outside, but as soon as the days get shorter, they turn into couch potatoes. It's not unusual for people to get home from work, cook dinner and spend the rest of the evening in front of the TV or online. And this happens every single night! Instead of becoming antisocial when the weather gets depressing, it's a great idea to include a social hobby in your routine – something that gets you out of the house and involves other people. Whether you do sports, join a book club or organise weekly dinners with friends, it's important for your health to stay social. Plus, a regular hobby gives you something to look forward to each week!

3. Attend events

This is pretty much an extension of the previous point, but it's worth emphasising on its own. Tonnes of cool events actually happen in the "off season". In the beginning of November a selection of Tallinn's best restaurants offer set lunch and dinner menus at amazing prices as part of Tallinn Restaurant Week. Then there's the Black Nights Film Festival (aka PÖFF), which is the highlight of autumn in Estonia. Afterwards, all the magical Christmas events start happening: the Christmas Market, Christmas Jazz, and various concerts and performances in churches and other venues. Then we reach January, which brings me to my next point...

Want to read the full story? Check out the article on Like A Local's website.

Last updated : 13.12.2021

In category: Health & Wellness, Food & Drink & Nightlife