November… When the weather gets poor and the temperature drops… Also, last weekend it kinda snowed and everything was frozen and icy in the morning. So, I thought it could be a good thing to stop for a minute and put all my thoughts together on how we can actually survive another winter in Sweden. So here it comes, the survival guide to Swedish Winters!
Whether you want it or not, it is coming. Winter is coming faster than you’ll ever expect it to! So, if you’re living in Sweden, just moved here or are planning a trip to the Nordics – here are some things you may want to know to enjoy the upcoming months.
This winter will be my 3rd one in Sweden, and so believe me, I’ve experienced a lot of things during these long months. To give you a background, winter is:
- Long (like a good 5 months),
- Dark (5h of daylight in the best case scenario),
- Cold (up to -20C can happen),
- Beautiful (I mean who doesn’t find snow magical),
- Festive (Holidays season oh yes!).
So you get the point. There are some not-so-nice aspect and some oh-my-good-so-good things. And so here are some tricks and tips about how to survive the ugly part of winter and enjoy the beauty of it.
Take care of yourself
The body and the soul. Yes, my friend, one doesn’t go without the other.
I think it is so important, especially during the wintertime, to have a good routine for your body. Because of the coldness, your skin won’t be super happy, go get some nice masks, body moisturiser (& hand cream too) and lip balm.
Because it gets dark very early, you’ll find yourself at home way earlier than you used to, and so it gives plenty of time for some quality “me-time”.
Regarding your soul, do the things that make you happy – go for a coffee, grab a cinnamon bun on your way to work or anything that can be considered as a little treat, cause yes, it makes winter a bit sweeter.
Locals would tell you that there is no bad weather, there is only bad clothing. So here you go. But instead of just dropping this and leaving you alone with this statement, here are some of my favourite winter clothing pieces that I would buy every year.
Heat tech clothes, tops and bottoms, as the first layer. I really like the ones from Uniqlo, as they are really affordable and comfy. There are so many colours available and they’re so thin that you won’t even feel like you are wearing them. On top of this, it keeps you really warm all day long.
Put layers. A lot of layers! I like having super big, warm and cosy wool sweaters because… just because without you’d freeze! And having layers is good because you can always get rid of some once inside and put them back on when leaving a building. Basically it is perfect to keep you warm!
Investing in good shoes and winter jacket matters. I am saying investing and not spending a lot of money on these, for the simplest reason that you’ll keep them from one winter to another. Also, because if you buy good quality products, you won’t feel disappointed by the purchase. To be honest, when I took my winter jacket out last weekend, I was quite happy! It is a jacket that I love, that is comfy and warm. For sure, you’ll be able to find good jackets for a reasonable price (i.e. 150€).
You might need to force yourself a bit, but going outside for a coffee or a walk, for example, is very good. As daylight is scarce, you need to enjoy it when it is here! Of course, it might be cold, but you’ll feel so much better after, and isn’t it great to have a snowball fight once in a while?
By going outside, there is also the importance of socialising and meeting friends. Winter days can feel very long and boring as there is not always much happening, but meeting friends for a coffee, a walk, a dinner or a glass of mulled wine will just put you in a happier mood!
Enjoy the winter festivities
November is clearly the beginning of winter in Scandinavia and it is my least favourite month of the year because there is not much happening… It is also dark, usually rainy and cold. So for me, November is the month that I just have to go through and focus on many other things not to get depressed. And one of these things is looking at what will be happening in December a.k.a. where and when are the Christmas markets! But also planning winter break and any other things I want to explore in town.
Thus, visiting Sweden in December or January is great, because everything is opened and decorated for the holidays. Moreover, there are not so many tourists in the city, which makes the attractions and museums so much more attractive. And let’s face it, a bit of snow and frozen lakes make the city magical and pretty!
Make your home comfy
I realised that during the winter I’m always looking forward to coming back home after work, and it is because I feel good there! I like having a few books to read, some nice candles – and soon a Christmas tree!
The darkness pushes me to come home straight after work, and not stop by a couple of stores, coffee house or such, and so making your home a happy and comfy place, is always a good idea.
I don’t mean being on a diet. Nope. I mean being careful of what you’re eating. The last two winters have been very different for me, but the common thing is that when winter comes to an end, I have no energy left. So to avoid it, this winter I decided to take some vitamins to boost me through this long period of the year.
In addition, it is the great citrus fruits season! I eat a lot of them, which gives me good vitamins and strengths for the day. And usually, I care a little more about trying my best not to get sick – and so ginger, lemon and/or honey are often added to teas or just hot water for a nice beverage.
⇒ I hope you enjoyed this article and it will help you to go through the upcoming cold months! If you have any specific tricks to survive the winter, please share them in the comments!
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