An active life can help you get through depression

Updated: Mar 7, 2019

Saana from Finland currently lives in Prague. She decided to compare her home country with Czechia. What are the pros and cons?

Standing in the forest by Larisa Birta

Darkness may trigger a depression. For me, it has been very important to live an active life. The best way not to be tired is to keep me busy.

Saana from Finland

Tervehdys is a traditional way to say Hello in Finland. My name is Saana that is also the name of one of the highest mountain in Northern Finland. The city where I’m coming from is also located in the north, only 70 kilometers below from Polar circle. It is a small city called Kemi where is about 28 thousand inhabitants.

I moved from Finnish Lapland to the Czech Republic almost one year ago. Firstly to do my exchange studies and then I continued with a couple marketing internships. This place offers so many possibilities for me that at the moment there is no returning back. Staying away from my roots makes me recall home and now I will tell you something about Finland and compare things in Czech

I see the differences in nature and culture every day between Finland and Czechia. Everyone knows that we have winter season called Kaamos, which is known as a polar night. Polar night is the annual time period during Christmas, when the sun does not rise above the horizon. The place where I come from, daylight is around one hour at the darkest season, but at the most northern point of Finland, polar night lasts about 51 days (so no daylight during 51 days). In the other hand we have "nightless" nights during the summer. For me, the Middle European winter is the time of never-ending spring and that makes me swoon!

Aurora in winter by Jonatan Pie

In Finland, I sleep more during the wintertime because of the lack of sunlight. The northern species have adapted to the harsh climate conditions, long, dark and cold winters. Here in Prague, I have slept less and I can really recognize that I have more energy than normal at this time of the winter. I can do so much more during the day without feeling tired and sleepy. I have started even couple of new hobbies: climbing, yoga, and rugby to relieve my energy levels.

In humans, the polar night season may have a negative effect, and darkness may trigger a depression. For me, it has been very important to live an active life. The best way not to be tired is to keep me busy.

Like almost every people from Lapland, I love nature, low temperatures, snow, sauna, and sports.I’m fighting against winter depression whit free-skiing and hard physical training at the gym.

And you may have heard something about the Northern Lights, which shows mostly the Northern areas of Finland. When the sky is clear in the dark, the lights are observed there on average for three nights in four (75% of the nights).

It is something what I really miss here in Middle Europe. We have also lots of lakes in Finland but for me, the ocean is something that can´t be replaced. Mountains that surround Czech borders, have given me totally new kind of feeling of freedom and wilderness, and I’m looking forward explore them all.

Finnish Lapland has similar characters with the northern regions of Sweden and Russia, but compared to the rest of Europe, it is very different. The special features of Lapland include the burial culture. Lapland life is an essential part of exploiting forests; berry and mushroom picking, fishing and hunting. I’m not a hunter but all my male relatives are.

That was such a masculine sentence. Something similar I do see between people in Finland and Czechia. Both are in my opinion modest and hardworking. They are easy to come along and honest. They may not be your best friends from the first moment because the relationship warming procession is long but totally worth it.

#lifeinCzech #Finland #Czechia #Czechrepublic #activelife #expatsinprague

Author: Saana Peurasaari

Photos: Saana Peurasaari, Unsplash


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