Yep, you heard me. It’s that time of year again, where the 3pm darkness gets you to a point where you think you just might not be cut out to live so far up north in the hemisphere. Or wait, maybe that’s just me on my bad days. Either way, here are some tips from a newbie Winter-warrior on how you get through some seriously harsh conditions.
- Invest in candles and lighting! Candles won’t be hard to find as it is sold everywhere, from the ICA around the corner to where you get your groceries- it’s a Swedish must for your household during the Winter season. I always keep a bunch around (scented ones definitely don’t hurt either. Just don’t forget to blow them out before leaving your home- safety is key!. And by lighting, I mean high-wattage bulbs instead of those romantic dim bulbs some of your might like to have in order to preserve energy. I would gladly take a slightly higher electricity bill over SAD (Seasonal affective disorder) anyday. If you’re feeling extra tech-savvy, you can even go out and get yourself one of those nifty light therapy boxes.
- Vitamin D- Load up on this nutritional savior because there sure won’t be much sun to go around. Aside from helping your fight off depression from all the prolonged exposure to darkness, there’s a wide array of other health benefits including building stronger bones and healthier skin. But don’t take my word for it- look it up yourself or ask your nutrition!
- Exercise and taking in the scenery- although cold, Sweden is still beautiful in the Wintertime. So go out, go for a jog (beware of slippery ice though) or even just a slow stroll through town after dinner. Here in Sweden where the general consensus is to stay on top of your health, you’re bound to run into a bunch of other people out doing their daily/weekly exercise routines right beside you. But if you’re not one for scenery, you could always sign yourself up for a student membership (it’s 20% for active students!) at your nearest SATS gym.
- Load up on (Swedish) carbs and coffee- no, I’m not advocating stuffing you’re face everytime it’s dark or cold out, but what better time to invite a friend over for a nice homemade latte and a kanelbulle? Grabbing one at your favorite café works too, though. Multiple daily fikas is probably the best excuse you can have to indulge in delicious pastries and steaming cups of coffee day in and day out, wouldn’t you say?
All in all, stay active! As tempting as it is to run home, flip on your laptop and cuddle in bed with a bar of Marabou chocolate all day long- keeping active and filling your schedule during Winter is a great way to get through it with ease. After awhile, it’ll become your new way of life- however cold it may be.