A Survival Guide for Berlin’s Cold Seasons

photos: Tim Raack

Open Airs, basking in the sun at the river bank, losing the count of beers you had from the Späti, walking down the street just like pretty woman or forgetting the dimension of time at Sisyphos start to resemble a lot magical exhibits in a museum, that during the night come alive and engage in unforgettable adventures, but when the sun rises they all turn into immobile objects devoid of any indication of life or recollection of what just happened.

With the advent of the cloudy days, Berlin is officially entering its not that bright and lively season. It is true that there are great differences in people’s way of living and the Berliner atmosphere between the warm and the cold time of year.

Granted, there is way worse than surviving the cold days in Berlin. Check out the weather at the not so United Kingdom or in Scandinavia. For those, who want to make the most out of it, there are thankfully several ways to guarantee that the not so warm season in Berlin could be amusing and rewarding in a whole different level than the summer.

Since I am not going to quote any scientific papers to support my argument, I will speak from my own personal experience: having grown up in a Mediterranean country, I found myself missing the sun and the clear blue sky upon my moving abroad. What is more, I noticed that my mood was directly linked to the weather – sometimes to an incontrollable extent.

Through the years I managed to tame this wild beast, which was the connection between the weather and my emotional state. I managed that through investing my energy and time in myself rather than the external factors I was letting bringing me down. More specifically, I realized certain elements that made me feel happy, alive and secure towards the emotional repercussions of Berlin’s downer face.

There is a saying in ancient Greek stating that a sane mind lies within a sane body. As a result, I started taking care of my physical health: through eating well, sleeping sufficiently and involving sports in my weekly schedule. It is remarkable how much more efficiently the human brain can function, when this triangle works well. I was pleasantly surprised how insignificant the “problematic” areas in my life were in reality. After all, there is no such thing as an objectively big or small problem, what there is, is our perception to it. Writing down on a piece of paper what actually bothered me turned out to be an easy and fast way to get my head around the chaos numerous thoughts and worries cause inside my head. I recognized that as long as my body is not sick, there is literally nothing I cannot achieve. After all, time is on my side.

Afterwards, I set up a brief path, as in where I am now and where I want to be in the upcoming months professionally as well as in life in general. I tried to answer questions, such as whether I am content with the current state of my life or how I can follow my dreams without living in the future.

Moreover, I realized what the biggest joys of mine are on a daily basis; these small things, that make a big difference though. For every person these small things do not necessarily need to be the same: e.g. interacting with friends and/or family, attending a language course, clubbing, discovering new places in the city etc. I made sure I invested enough time in this area during the week. Thankfully Berlin has so much to offer regardless of the season.

Moreover, time management can, also, play a significant part in this story. We are daily bombarded with an immense bulk of information living, thus, in the era of distractions. Setting a few tasks that you definitely need to carry out during the day and disciplining yourself to make it always fills someone with pride and satisfaction. As much as I hate to say it, leaving your phone aside, when you can, might turn out to be the key to saving a lot of time.

Finally, I tried to think of all the things I am grateful for and I so much tend to take for granted. I could not believe when I figured out how many they are. Since then, I have never stopped reminding that to myself.

While all this could be implemented regardless of the weather, I feel that the colder season demands a more conscientious, well-directed strategy, whereas sunny days always make everyone feel way better whatsoever. I would not say that this serves as a panacea, it works for me at least at this particular phase of my life, sometimes well, sometimes not that well; it always helps me find my inner balance though and I would be over the moon, if it would help you – even a little bit – find yours…

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<a href="https://www.iheartberlin.de/author/nikos/" target="_self">Nikos</a>