A considerable amount of Finnish people feel fatigue, loss or an increase in their appetite, a more negative attitude towards life etc. during the autumn. We talk about is as something that should be fixed, seasonal depression. A seasonal depression can be healed with light since the absence of light seems to be the reason behind it. Me however, have a different theory behind why we suddenly behave like this during the autumnal darkness. I personally think that people are meant to have a hibernation period just like many other animals, but we are ignoring this natural need of ours and seeing it as a problem. It isn't the same as with animals of course but I think we do have this natural need to slow down. This doesn't mean that it would be suddenly okay to throw away ones healthy lifestyle but it means that you might need some more sleep and perhaps crave more sweets but you don't have to act upon it. My point is that it happens naturally and there is nothing wrong with you for experiencing it, you are not a problem. So what if you sleep in one morning it is just one morning.
I think we should be compassionate regarding our bodies and their needs. Not everything needs to be about mind over body and trying to fight away all human aspects of oneself. We should be seeing this "hibernation of humans" as something that is okay to have. I think genes also play a big role regarding how you will survive winter. I have so "old" genes since I'm partly inuit that I have this connection with my body and nature. If nature changes my body changes. It is not always fun and it doesn't fit into modern society but my point is that we are walking around ignoring our human side, the side of us that isn't really ready for this fast paced modern life and our bodies are trying to tell us just that. Yet, we keep seing everything human about us as a problem or diagnosis instead of seing it as something that is really very normal.
So if you are like me having to deal with this seasonal fatigue and modern life together then try to not be so hard on yourself. Try to organize your work and studies so that you aren't doing to much on a daily basis, instead work a little everyday and take pauses in between. My greatest tip is probably taking naps. Even if you don't normally take naps you might want to, during your seasonal fatigue. And again be kind to yourself. This feeling doesn't mean that you are lazy or unmotivated or sick in someway, it simply means that your body is trying to adapt because the season just changed or is currently changing and for your body it really is a big deal. Something that also could help with the feeling of hopelessness that often tags along with the tiredness is having something to look forward to, whether it is meeting a friend, waiting for Christmas or having an upcoming trip planned - these are all great ways to keep your spirit bright! And we all know that when your mind stays happy, your body feels it too.
I hope this helps someone out there whom feels understood after reading this! I've probably spent hours trying to find an article written in a compassionate perspective regarding the topic but I couldn't really find one, which is why I wrote one myself. Mine is supposed to be less scientific and more understanding. So if science is what you seek for there are plenty of great sources of that elsewhere. So everyone; don't beat yourself up due to tiredness, this is just one period in your life and it will pass. You are fine. You are okay. Sleep if you need to sleep. Eat if you need to eat. Exercise if you need to exercise. Your body knows what it needs.
PS. Feel free to share your advice on how one survives winter!