How to Survive the Estonian Winter

Today is the 1st december. Now, that the real winter officially begins, I would like to share my own thoughts on how to survive the Estonian winter. This article will be updated throughout the winter to add some new survival tips! 😉

Järve Train Station

(1) Vitamin D3 and exercise

Since the beginning of November my body is affected by the lack of daylight here in Estonia. The sun goes up at 9 o’clock and sets at half past 15 which is for me crazy! I feel so lethargic and lazy. My eyes kinda feel like as if they fall off and I don’t have as much motivation and strength as I used to have before the winter. My willpower fades away slowly, sometimes I don’t even find the motivation to cook some food.

To prevent this feeling of tiredness, I try to exercise regularly and take vitamin D. As you might know, sunlight provides the body with some important vitamin D and if you don’t get enough exposure it can happen especially during the winter that you get tired (like me) or even temporarily depressed.

Surprisingly, I don’t have to workout a lot to feel more awaken and healthier. Usually, I go to the swimming pool and swim for 30 minutes or do some basic workout exercises for 20 minutes. Generally, moving and taking one vitamin D capsule helps me to feel awake and active.

Of course, I still have these periods where I feel just incredibly tired, but soon there will be brighter days again and now I just use the time to read and relax.

(2) Wearing warm winter clothes

Estonia is located in Northern Europe. Hence, during the winter it is super cold. So far my jackets and coats have protected me from the icy coldness and it hasn’t gotten too cold yet. However, when the temperature will reach its -10 degrees, I’m sure that I will have to use some gloves, a cozy beanie and my superthick ski pants. I, in fact, bought recently this wool shearling pilot hat at a second hand shop. It protects my ears from the icy wind and it’s at the same time cozy.

Currently the wind is blowing strongly, so I am glad that my winter pilot hat protects my ears from the icy wind.

One of my colleagues also recommended me to wear now wool socks instead of cotton socks because the wool socks create more friction due to the rough fabric which overall leads to more warmth in the feet. 

Wearing ski underwear is also recommended, although I don’t own any of these things since I usually wear leggings under my pants…

And a warm winter coat is by far the most important thing, as everyone knows. By the way, I have also one of these superthick iceland pullovers and I am sure that I will need to wear them soon…

I don’t know why, but thinking about wearing a superthick iceland pullover and skipants makes me feel really excited. I really hope, that more snow will fall soon!

(4) Keeping yourself busy and watch a (good!) German movie

Since the winter period resembles a difficult time it’s no wonder that I occasionally feel more homesick. Usually, when I notice that I am homesick then I try not be so bothered by the feeling. Instead I just keep myself busy by playing with the kids or reading. It’s interesting to have this feeling of homesickness, because now I learn what I miss profoundly about Germany.

Yesterday, I went again to the PÖFF festival to watch a German movie called “YUNG”. The movie depicted the life of four teenage girls who were making their Abitur and at the same time exploring their homosexuality, taking drugs, alcohol and going to a lot of partys. It was indeed a weird, but very interesting, intimate, realistic and even educative movie (educative because you see how drugs affect the girls’ life positively and negatively). I do recommend to watch the movie if you like a bit of weird stuff as well.

As someone who is suffering a little bit from homesickness, it was sooo good to hear German slang in the movie, I don’t know why. It’s just a big part of German youth culture and hence it also subconsciously was also a big part of my life when I life in Germany….

(5) Listening to meditative, calm, peaceful music

Personally, december is a month were I just like to be more by myself and enjoy the christmas time. I use social media less and more consciously and I read more books during that time as well as I like to listen to some calm, peaceful music. Here is a list of Estonian albums that I am listening to currently.

  • Erki Pärnoja – Saja Lugu
  • Mick Pedaja – Hingake/Breath
  • Tintura – Ebaõiglase uni
  • Maarja Nuut & Ruum – Muunduja
  • Mari Jürjens – 27

(6) List of books I read during the winter

  • Living a Feminist Life by Sara Ahmed
  • The Unorganized Mind by Daniel Levitin
  • (more books will be updated during the winter…)

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