How To Survive a Scandinavian Winter

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A Los Angeleno’s experience taking on the Swedish winter.

I have officially made it through my first Swedish winter. Originally from sunny LA, it was quite an adjustment seeing the sun set at 3:30pm (yes, you read that right). Especially since it wasn’t rising until damn near 9am…

But, I made it through! And here is how:

  1. Get Cozy – The Danes call it hygge. The Dutch, gezellig. Whatever you call it, it is time to get cozy. I’m talking candles, fuzzy socks, soft jazz, and a great book. Add in a pot of tea, board games, and some friends, and you have yourself a lovely Swedish night in (OK, coffee might be more Swedish than tea). Oh, and having my cat Clea snuggle up on my lap was pretty hygge too.
  2. Mentality – A great mindset to have is, “there is no bad weather, only bad clothing.” Don’t let the winter keep you from going outside! Bundle up and find some Scandinavian fun. Perhaps the lovely Christmas markets, cross country skiing, or coffee påtår (unlimited refills!) at a local bakery. Also, being outside in the cold makes you so appreciate your warm apartment, and we can all use a little more gratitude.
  3. Escape – Many people in the Scandinavian countries flee to warm countries (hello, Spain!) in the winter time for some much needed sun exposure.
  4. Dose Up – With lack of sun exposure, taking a Vitamin D supplement is a great idea. In fact, you may need to take one even if you aren’t living above the 37th parallel North.
  5. Join In – When we woke up to snow on Christmas Eve Eve, Nick and I hopped out of bed and dove right in. We made a snowperson, snow angels, and had a snowball fight. It was magical.

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And now, Hello, Spring.

-TM

How do you brave winter where you are (even 55 degrees F is shockingly cold to a Los Angeleno!)? Let us know below.

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