Editor, Executive Director, Web Admin

by mira.zakaria on 

March 13, 2018
Winter is coming. Seasons affect our lives
Winter in Germany in early 2018

Frankfurt. It is February, yes, if anything, winter is already happening. Just yesterday, as of mid-February, we were still blessed with snowfall. Never in these last few years would I have thought that I would see winter again. But after being daily exposed to high humidity and a temperature of above 23 degrees Celsius  year in, year out , it is actually refreshing to see and experience the cold air, the changing landscapes, and appreciating the little ray of sunlight that you get during a short winter day.

In Central and West Europe, especially in the urban areas that I stayed in the last few days, I have come to notice again that this freezing season is barely an excuse for the people here to “stop” things moving or running. You’ll notice this especially when you see the amount of commuting people in public transportations. People are still occupied with their daily routines, the only thing that might change are their clothes, really. The hustle bustle stays and the cold is just a condition they have to endure and live through.

Indeed, there are the slippery iced streets or those rings of stacked and half frozen snow that your car must dodge which may be the pain of the European hard winters. But 80 % of the winter workdays seem to continue in an effective manner.

During my stay, I realised again that seasons can shape one’s personality. How so? Hear my hypothesis out: People living in four seasons areas are forced to be more thorough in their plannings or must be more structured. Why?

You have the beautiful spring, the hot and indulging summer, the colourful autumn and the romantic winter season. To adjust to every season, there are paraphernalia that you need to consider, such as clothes, shoes, schedules, routes, household/office appliances (air conditioning and heaters), putting on/off the winter tires in cars and amount of energy supplies amongst others. For example, it will take a regular person at least three clothing set changes in a year. Also, you will have to plan whether your heaters or air conditioning (be it in your office or home) need to be checked or when to turn them on.  Aside from appliances and clothes, naturally also the supply of food items can slightly change depending on the availability of fruits or vegetables during the specific season. The daylight hours become shorter in winter and longer during summertime. Socially, there are more occasions to get together in the warmer times and there are more indoor activities planned in the colder temperatures.

Obviously, not everybody will directly become a planning nerd by living in such a temperate climatic zone, but at least it will influence you in planning ahead;  have your clothes ready, stock up more of this or that favourite food ingredients, eating lighter during warmer temperatures versus digesting energy-dense (read: higher calories) food in colder temperatures as the body needs to generate the necessary heat.  You would need to adjust your life during the winter to “survive”, while summer is the time when you take a break from your work or studies. This is all related on how to plan ahead with the available household budget and time schedules.

Living in a four-season country however also gives a reason to anticipate events, atmospheres and moods. There can be euphoria to welcome the different seasons as it is not same throughout the year. Therefore, little changes in the everyday life can mobilise a person more while living in a four-season area rather than in a place with constant temperature throughout the year. Within the year there are more changes to be considered if there are different climate-related seasons.

On another note, apparently, seasons and daylight can also affect the mood states of people. Those who are exposed to more sunlight are said to less likely to suffer from a depressive state, as opposed to those who are not exposed much to it, for example in the winter season. But that is worth to be revisited in my next writing.

About the author

Mira grew up in Austria and moved back in Indonesia several years ago where she took her master degree in Corporate Communications. At the moment she works with GIZ, a public-benefit enterprise owned by the German Federal Government working for sustainable development worldwide. Other than her daily work and managing Polyglot Indonesia, she also involves in the activities of Abang None Jakarta, and Perhimpunan Indonesia Austria (PIA).

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