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Surviving the Russian Winter: 5 Tips To Stay Healthy and Avoid the Winter Blues
November 28, 2012 14:42


In the season famous for soft snow, festivities, and skating rinks you want to take a full advantage of the good moments. But the temperature is getting lower with each day, wind gets colder, and it snows. Then it may occasionally rain, and you'll be ice-skating before you know it. As if this is not enough, for the second year running Russia has not changed the clocks. Not only does it mean that there's an extra hour to whatever time difference there is, this also indicates that most of the time you don't see the daylight - quite literally. You leave the house in darkness, spend the whole day in the office, and leave the office when it's already dark again. HAWNNU4NYRJT

In short, colds, bruises, and winter blues are eager to take you hostage, unless you are prepared. So brace yourself with our quick guide to surviving the Russian winter.

1. Exercise.
This is your primary source of energy at the time when energy is not on the high. No need to sign up for the gym (you can do that after the New Year, to shed the festive weight), just stick to some Pilates-like exercises to keep yourself fit and energised. 

2. Keep your feet warm.
A traditional Russian saying goes: "Keep your feet warm, and your head cold". We wouldn't recommend not wearing a hat or a scarf in winter in Russia, but making sure your footwear is waterproof, warm, and comfortable is a must. Avoid buying boots that are too tight, as they will actually make your feet colder.

3. Natural protection.

Reserting to an occasional Halls or Strepsils may be OK, but we'd recommend sticking to various herbal lozenges, to protect yourself. They contain Eucalyptus, Sage, Elder, Echinacea, etc, and normally sold without prescription. Drinking tea with lemon, ginger and honey is another great way to keep yourself fit throughout winter.  

4. Maintain your energy.
By that we don't mean stacking up on Red Bulls or such like. The amount of sugar these drinks contain only provide a short-term energy boost, and some people (your humble author included) experience a reversed effect of having their energy wither away. Instead, use good chocolate (preferably bitter), honey, lemon, and ginger for cooking and drinking in this season. Exercise and don't forget to have enough sleep.

5. Be positive.

It's hard to be positive when darkness and cold surround you. Add to this endless traffic lines, tired and unhappy faces on the public transport, the festive fever with countless gift ideas, and you will probably start feeling your upbeat mood sinking lower with each second.

So you need to look on the bright side. And if you cannot see it, this is the best time to learn to find it. If you are in the traffic jam, you can read. On the underground try to find at least three bright, happy faces. Buy the gifts earlier this season. Walk in the park at the weekend. Scout local papers for free events. Above all, do not forget: being positive means creating positive moments. If you help an elderly man to cross the street or to lift a bag on the bus, they are likely to thank you and to wish you all the happiness God can only give. 

We hope you keep well this Russian winter!

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Author: Julia Shuvalova

Tags: Russian Winter healthcare in Russia    

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