Sauna for the cold

My family in Finland has to make it through winters that make my extreme weather in New England seem like a walk through the park. Here, the sun sets around four in the afternoon during the worst parts of January. Finland has it worse, as they have almost no sunlight at all! They have to use special lamps to provide lighting through the winter, and take lots of vitamins to make up for the deficit. This lack of sunlight isn’t just unhealthy due to the lack fo vitamin D, but it also makes the land bitterly frigid without any relief to come for months. At least here, I can lay on the couch by the window and soak up the daylight for the short amount of time that I have it! My cousins can’t say the same. They do have something every one of us would love to have here in the US: In Finland, their Heating & A/C systems are set up to include a heated floor in the bathroom as well as a sauna. I thought this was just something my cousins overseas had due to being well off, but it’s actually a common thing! They’re teenagers who are living in their first apartments have saunas – that’s how commonplace they are. I can’t imagine a simple house or cheap apartment in the US where you just happen to have a sauna! Apparently, they consider the sauna so essential to their health that pretty much everyone has one on the property. I can’t even fathom how the Heating & A/C system has to work for that! Between venting out all of the steam to keep mold from growing and attempting to keep the sauna clean, it must be a nightmare. For people in Finland, the sauna is a way of life!