5 winter activities that won’t make you cringe – Finnish edition

Winter parkway, Ruka, Finland. Photo by Timo Newton-Syms

 

Is the impending Finnish winter already clenching tightly on what’s left of your November soul? If so then check out these 5 winter activities that won’t add more chaos to your already insane inner monologue.

 

 

 

1. Indoor gardening

We all occasionally feel old inside, especially in winter. Now’s the time to embrace stereotypical hobbies that normal envelope elderly people. But instead of cleaning up after 85 cats, get yourself a million plants. Discovering new species of plants that will survive artificial sunlight is a beloved pastime in the north. It’s fun, reduces stress and makes you feel important. It’s also much cleaner and safer than having so many cats. Remind yourself that loving plants also means that you have no life.

2. Baking

Everyone loves the smell of freshly baked bread and if they don’t then there’s something intrinsically wrong with them. Once you learn how to bang out your own dough you won’t want the store-bought kind anymore, and what better way to spend your pent-up winter frustration than baking fresh pastries to keep all your plants company. Win.

3. Sauna

The classic and often intense sauna experience will put your mind on the mend. Trekking through giant heaps of snow is much more tolerable when you know the sauna awaits you with its warm, welcoming embrace. Give in to it, don’t fight it and you will finally understand the sauna’s winter allure — if only to defrost yourself. Don’t forget to sauna alone to avoid embarrassment because even after living in Finland for 10 years you still constantly screw up sauna etiquette. This probably means you are still wildly uncomfortable around random naked people.

4. Escape Room

(Skip if you have anxiety. Why not just nail your coffin shut right now?)

 

 

 

5. Ice fishing

Only for the brave at heart and for when your inner monologue needs a mind-numbing shock to shut the F up. Sitting on a camping stool over a frozen lake in the dead of winter is sure to grow hair just about everywhere, and feel totally natural. If you do catch something your fingers (and brain) will be so frozen that you won’t care what kind of fish it is anyway. This will undoubtedly make the foreigner Finn in you feel stupid, thus registering the whole bone-chilling experience as an awkward memory. But hey, it’s all about passing the time, right?

 

If all else fails just go to the bar.

 

 

Drink until May. Then remember it’s Vappu and you can’t stop now. If you’re still feeling guilty, just remind yourself that Donald Trump is still the POTUS and being in a constant state of slight inebriation is a perfectly acceptable form of coping.

 

 

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Title photo by Timo Newton-Syms

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