If you’ve been in Sweden for a while, I’m sure you must’ve come across this saying. Translation? There’s no bad weather, only bad clothing. There are some pretty interesting sayings and jokes about Swedish weather. If you’ve been in Sweden only for a couple of months, you’ll get to know why soon enough. As Ned Stark (RIP) once said,’Winter is coming’.
Don’t worry, there are no white walkers in Sweden. None that we know of, at least. So don’t polish your Valyrian steel swords just yet (Or dragonglass, whatever works for you).
But don’t get your hopes up, facing the Swedish winter is nothing short of going to a war. Okay maybe I’m exaggerating a bit but coming from India, it was definitely something that I needed to prepare myself for, mentally and physically.
Now I can’t help you prepare mentally, that is something you have to do yourself. I suggest reading up on articles regarding what to expect. But I would say this, more than the cold, it’s the darkness that gets to you.
Anyway, getting back to the point of this blog, I’m going to give you a few tips on how you can prepare for the Swedish winter. I’m going to focus on two areas, outdoors and indoors.
First, let’s begin with the outdoors. After all, you can’t spend the winter like a bear just holed up in your room, can you. You still have to carry on with your life, do grocery shopping, go to classes etc. Good clothing is your friend in this case.
So what can you do?
Layers, my friend. Layers. During the winters in India, (Yes, we have winters. Yes, it can get pretty cold up in the north) I would just buy a jacket and that was about it. But clearly, that wasn’t going to work in Sweden. Buying a thick and fluffy jacket is not the solution either. What you want to do instead is wear multiple layers. Not only do they allow you to ‘control’ how much cosy you want to get, you can top it off with a wind-cheater to protect you from the rain or the snow. I myself bought a fleece jacket to keep me warm and bought a weather-coat to insulate my clothing from the weather. Trust me, it works and is more practical in my opinion, as opposed to buying just one thick layer. But that’s just my opinion. To each their own.
You should also invest in a nice pair of boots that will keep your feet warm and safe. Safe how, you ask? When the snow falls, it looks beautiful and all, but boy does it get slippery. And if you don’t want to break your bones by slipping on ice, then boots is the way to go.
Now, let’s get to indoors. I’ve just got one tip for you but it’s really effective. It worked wonders for me and that is… drum roll please..
LIGHTS! Lots of them. Get a lamp for your table, another one for your bed. Another one for that corner of the room. Seriously, get more lights for your room. During the winters, your productivity can take a hit and the way I deal with it is that I close the blinds of my window at around 4 PM and turn all the lights on (I have 4 extra lamps in my room in addition to the ceiling lamp). Then, every hour or two, I will turn one of the lamps off to fall asleep at just the right time. It seriously helps when your room is bright. And the fact that you can’t ‘see’ that it’s dark outside, you tend to stay active.
So there you go my friend, now you’re all prepared to face the winter. But seriously though, it’s not that bad. Especially when the snow falls. Taking a walk in the forest when it’s all snowy is the best thing you can do during the winters. It is beautiful!!