Welcome to our journal - ‘The Sauna Diaries’ - where you will discover the Spirit of Finland, including what gives Finns their ‘Sisu’*. We will interview our ‘Finns in the Forest’, including friends, collaborators, and a few of our heroes about their life stories, inspirations and connections to nature.
Why ‘the Sauna Diaries’?
I have been travelling to Finland for over 20 years and being from much warmer climes I have found the sauna culture fascinating. Saunas are a key tradition in Finland, and the Finns have a long history of taking them for their health benefits. The ‘Sami’ people, native to Lapland, have built saunas in the evenings for centuries to bring together their communities and to help bring relief from the stress of living in harsh conditions. This is where stories are told, friendships are built, and children learn the wisdom of their elders.
Still to this day, in Finnish business and political communities it is common practice for negotiations to take place in a sauna. I guess that sitting naked in a burning hot wooden box, cheek-to-cheek brings a certain amount of honesty and understanding in people. You can always trust what’s said in the sauna!
One foot in the Forest
Finns have a saying that they always have one foot in the forest and when you visit you really understand why. This connection to nature is the Finnish secret weapon to finding a sense of inner peace and this natural stress remedy is probably why Finland is so often voted the happiest country on earth! These are some of the reasons I wanted to build Forest Spa_Finland. Meet our Finns in the Forest. Reconnect with nature and discover your ‘sisu’* Having worked in the skincare industry all my life, I’ve always dreamt of building a skincare brand. Seeing the changes in what consumers want for their skin and what their expectations are for health and wellness, I found the inspiration I needed. The impact of stress on people has exacerbated in recent years and this affects us both inside and out. It struck me that if everyone could ‘Forest Bathe’ in Finland for a part of their day, it would make them stronger and restore a sense of vitality. When you are sitting by the lake, surrounded by the forest, seeing the magical light change with the midnight sun through to the northern lights can make you feel like you can do anything. There is even a great word that Finns hold in the hearts: ‘SISU’ which loosely translates to guts, grit, and determination even when you face the impossible it’s the second wind within you! This is the spirit of Finland and Finns that I want to capture in this journal and will share their stories with you every month. For now, find your ‘sisu’ and we will talk again soon! Daniel Collins Founder: Forest Spa_Finland