It’s been a while since we arrived in Stockholm and I hope each of you have made a lot of friends! Because winter is coming and polar night is dark and full of terrors. It’s still relatively warm but pretty dark at 4 p.m. and my mates think that I’m the only one who is not afraid of winter. Is it because I’m Russian? Well, us Russians do know how to survive long, dark winters. Here are my best tips how to deal with it. Hope you’ll fall in love with my favourite season! =)
In the worst of days, you won’t experience more than 6 hours of daylight. Therefore, make your life brighter on your own! Buy some candles with a variety of scents (just be careful with open fire and use candleholder). Place a lighting chain around your room or workplace to make it cozy. Try to place several sources of light in different parts of your room, especially near the window. This could replace actual sunlight. And if you’re a fan of Christmas (I know, you are!) buy a julstake – lamp with 7 electric candles for your windowsill.
Is your room cozy enough? Do you really want to come back home? Take a look around! I wonder if your walls are white or if you put up some posters and postcards? Do you have any houseplants to take care of and say “Hej!” to and welcome you home? Oh, you don’t have a green thumb? Well, IKEA has a lot of fake ones 😉
Swedes say that there is no bad weather, there are only bad clothes. The main secret of keeping yourself warm is using layers. The more layers you have the more insulated you are. I would say that the most comfortable combination for me is shirt -> hoody/fleece -> sweater -> coat. Another good idea is thermal clothing! It’s quite thin, absorbs sweat and holds your warmth. And don’t forget your woollen socks!
I know that we all study from Monday to Friday but try to get a chance to stay outside for a few minutes during lunch time. In few weeks you will notice Swedes standing in the middle of the street and soaking up sunlight. Follow the locals, get this precious light! It needn’t be really sunny for you to get outside, any time outside will make you feel better. Another option I can recommend is vitamin D. In Sweden they add vitamin D in milk and yoghurt but you can also get it in the grocery store or at the pharmacy without a prescription. (However, it is always better to talk to your doctor about any medications).
Have you tried skiing, skating or hiking in winter? If no, take advantage of the north. Call your friends and get some new skills together! There are plenty of places in Stockholm, like Vasaparken and Kungsträdgården, where you can skate for free accompanied by popular music. Oh, by the way! Don’t forget to compete who’s snowman is taller!
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All in all, I would say that it’s much easier to overcome all winter difficulties with someone warm by your side. So get a girl/boyfriend or a big group of friends. Luckily, there are plenty of activities at KI where you can meet new people 😉