I am here to announce that although you won’t freeze to death, there are some important things to do to prepare for this years winter. For , as they have told you, winter is coming, and if you don’t shape up, your going to look like this girl.
I’m from sunny Los Angeles, California, a place where 17C (62F) and under, warrants parkas, pumpkin spice latte’s, Uggs, and generally a lot of complaining about the frozen tundra (any sand too cold to wear flip flops in) cramping our style. Well you can imagine all of the genuine concern from folks when I announced I was moving to Scandinavia.
When they weren’t telling me to bring back chocolate (since they think I live in Switzerland not Sweden) or avoid polar bears, they were giving me ridiculous amounts of Arctic circle level winter clothes for every holiday one normally receives presents. So besides a million itchy woolen items from your grandma, this is what you’ll ACTUALLY need to survive:
Okay foreign student, you might not have had to take vitamin D before, but starting right now (like literally stop reading and go to the Apotek to buy this now) take your VitD. It will be an essential part of keeping your soul alive this winter. An essential part of not becoming a white walker. The fact is, that the cold isn’t what gets you, it is the darkness. Last winter we received only 5 hours of sunshine in a whole month!!!!
As you might know, sunlight is how you get that good ol’ VitD in your system. So without it, it is kind of hard. Supplements really help, and so does light therapy. At Karolinska library in Solna , there is a lovely light room, that in 20min will fill you with a boost of energy by tricking your brain that yes, you actually should be awake, regardless of the eternal night outside.
Eat good stuff
One of the highlights of winter time is delicious food, eaten by candlelight , surrounded by good friends.If you go to Gamla Stan at night, it looks like a real life kings landing. There’s a reason that Swedes are obsessed with the concept of “Mys” as in wow this is so “Mysigt”. It is the Swedish word for cozy, and is essential to nordic living.
In addition to the fact that eating out is ridiculously expensive, it is actually quite healthy and good for the environment to cook at home (plus leftovers, so #winning). Gather ’round some friends in the evening, cook something full of butter and goodness together, party like Tyrion and let the endorphins fill you with happiness.
So this is unpopular….but Sweden is obsessed with health. Stockholm is called the healthiest city in the world. This means you’re going to do some exercise whether you like it or not! Since we actually don’t like a life of raiding around the countryside or going on long quests, this is a good thing.
Upside of this is that it will help you immensely with your winter depression and general malaise. Working out 3 times a week for free at Karolinska’s gyms or one of the many gyms around Stockholm with students discounts, will not only pump you up full of endorphins, but will be good penitence for all those delicious fatty foods you will be eating.
Naps are amazing. Naps are an integral part of student life. Beds are the cozy clouds of happiness in your room. I DON’T CARE! You can not nap. The crucial part of you surviving this winter is good sleep hygiene.
Do you think John Snow naps? I don’t think so. Thats a Lanister move. Real northerners know that you have to make your self get up, stay up , and go outside. This lets your brain know that indeed you’re not a bear, and in fact can not hibernate for the next 5 months.
You Will Survive
I know I have probably scared the begeezus out of you , but don’t worry. If a girl from Socal can survive like a boss, so can you! So get out there, arm yourself, and take on winter like your name is King of the North!!