Simon Stellwag

You are not a lazy wimp, who can't survive Russian winter.

Thats me sitting in a garden outside of Moscow and enjoying sun.

This is the winter I am talking about. It probably 05:30 pm in January.

Living and working in different countries also means that you need to adjust to several important things. In my previous posts I have already tackled some of them, including working in between different time-zones. Today I would like to say a few words about the climate. 

One might think that climate is something that you “just adjust to. If its cold — you buy a new winter jacket; if it's warm —  you learn to drink more water, or stop wearing clothes at all, or work by the ocean and don't care at all).

Its true of course and I am not here to argue, but there is this one little thing that I want to discuss: everybody knows that there are millions of studies that prove how sunlight and darkness release specific hormones in our brain that (if to make it super simple) make us more or less happy. Maybe, I wouldn't have noticed this effect if I didn't spent last 8 months living in Russia. 

It's not that the weather its terrible here, there are bears drinking vodka on the streets and people are drinking with them just to stay warm. Of course not, but now, since the climate has changed, winters in Moscow are pretty much dull. It's colder than Europe, but not as cold as it used to be. This year there was almost no snow and no sun at all. NO SUN. My girlfriend even said that this December we had 2 sunny days or so.

"So, how was it?" — you would ask.

Fucking difficult. Sometimes you can't even understand why you feel so low, when things are perfectly fine. Fine, but there is one little thing missing — sunlight .

You wake up — its grey, you go somewhere — it's grey, you come back home —  at first it's grey and then a black hole of darkness is swallowing you, and the city, and the bears drinking vodka on the streets. At 5 o'clock in the evening. 

Now I understand, why people think that Russians are never happy. It really seems so, but in fact they are not depressed, they are just hibernating. Nine month out of twelve. And when the summer comes they go outside, make some shashlik and turn into the happiest people on the planet. Im telling you.

My point is very simple: we underestimate the importance of the sun like we don't value things when we have them. The key is not to blame yourself for feeling low and stressed. You are not a lazy wimp, who can't survive Russian winter — your body just needs serotonin. And you can trick it by healthy eating and staying active.


What do you think?

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