21 January, 2016

How to survive the Swedish winter

Swedish winter and how to survive it

We are sure you’ve noticed – winter has well and truly arrived in Sweden. Temperatures have been hitting rock bottom for the last couple of weeks with arctic Russian winds coming in over the country. So with the cold biting at our cheeks, a post about how to survive the Swedish winter is just the thing.

  1. Dress warmly

Now, this might seem an obvious tip but is often forgotten. Either we want to look good or we just can’t properly understand just how cold it can get. Per Fredrik, born and raised in Sweden makes a note of this.

– People forget to dress warmly, and then they complain. Just remember one thing: wool is the thing”.

Dress warm

Remember to dress warmly

And we agree. Dress wamly from the inside out. Start with long johns and whool/cotton or whool/silk mixed undershirts. Then put on your regular clothes and finish off with a warm winter coat that covers your bum, proper gloves, scarf and a hat – do not forget the hat! Proper winter boots or shoes with a thick sole will also make all the difference. They keep you warm and dry and you wont be slipping and sliding bambi style on all the hidden ice spots under the snow.

2.  Be social

When the day light hours are as rare as a chocolate cake at a Weight Watchers meeting, it is easy to become a bit of a recluse. Your body is telling you “come on, it’s dark! Time for bed!” but we urge you not to give in to the calling of your sofa.

– In my experience, the best way to combat the darkness is to spend time with friends. An active social life is a must, says Rona a britt who’s survived almost 10 Swedish winters.

How to be social is of course up to you but a few suggestions are: fika (coffe and cake with friends), meeting for a drink, dinners, home parties and why not a dance class?

3. Walk in the sunshine

The lack of light is hard for everyone, newbies and oldbies alike. And many Swedes chew vitamin-D tablets during the winter like they are going out of fashion. But the best medicine is simply to try and take a daily walk in whatever light there is. Eric from the US, is not a great lover of the winter season and his advice is to fill up on sun light as much as you can.

– Take a walk during lunch every day: it is the brightest part of the day, and even if it’s dark and cold, being outside will invigorate you. 10 minutes is more than enough.

4. Embrace it

Sometimes the best approach is to surrender as suggested by italian Alessandro.

– Forget book reading in front of the fireplace, stop watching the snow falling beyond the window, put on your warmest clothes and just go out. You will notice that the Swedish landscape has something special to offer in winter-time. And always keep an eye up above if it is dark. You may see the northern lights, and that is worth some teeth-chattering.

5. Take advantage of it


Sweden is great for winter sports – embrace it!

It’s easy to focus on the negative aspects of winter but sometimes you just need to take advantage of a situation and make it your own. Russian Pavel suggest to do just this.

– If you can’t change the climate, take advantage of it: go skiing, skating, walking in the woods, whatever works best for you. Stay active and try to see the beauty of a proper Swedish winter.

And Xavier who loves the winter and has more of a problem surviving the waiting for proper winter agrees that winter sports will make your heart happier.

– If you live in areas that are usually more wet and gray, try to schedule a trip to the north for some proper, snowy winter time.

6. Arrange home parties

All of us arent lovers of outdoor activities, and if you prefer more relaxed fun a recommendation is to throw and go to home parties. Members of the Newbie Team throw a yearly “Tropical Anti Winter Party” where we crank up the heat of the apartment, dress in beach clothes and eat and drink colourful food with little umbrellas. It may be cold and dark outside but it’s warm and light inside.

There are many reasons to organize a home party and Fran from Spain who is a great lover of Melodifestivalen suggest that meeting up and watching it together is a great way to beat the winter blues. But whatever your party preferenses are just go ahead and pick a theme, buy some food and drink and send out your invites.

And don’t hesitate to let us know your best tips for surviving the winter.

Julieta Spoerer
I was born in Sweden but it was a fluke that I ended up here. My mother was a political refugee and had all of 20 minutes to decide which country to go to once she could no longer stay in her native Chile.

Thanks to her I am parts Swede and parts South American and believe in the good that can come out of people moving beyond borders.

I work with words and digital marketing for a living and run the company Caligraph Communication. You can find out about it at

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