This year is the third winter I witness in Denmark and before New Years it seemed to be very warm and “hyggelig” this year. But in the past days, the real Scandinavian winter came back and apparently, it has no intention of leaving. It is the time to snow suit up and bike against the cold snowy wind or wait for the metro to start working again. To be honest, it is the least favorite season of the year for me and here are a few things I do to survive the cold weeks and months up in the north:
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When I moved to Copenhagen, I started to take Vitamin D supplements to feel fresher during the grey, dark days. I recommend you to do it as well, it really helped me to feel less tired and sometimes even prevent the first signs of depression 🙂 Since I am genetically an Asian, I need even more Vitamin D than my Danish friends but even they take it on a daily basis. I mean, in the Danish winter days, the sun can be a rare sight when you work and study.
I also have a solar lamp (pretty much a very, very bright lamp that makes you feel like you are under investigation) which I turn on a few hours every day. Especially while I study and focus on reading or writing, the lamp helps me to be less tired and more concentrated. I figured that the solar lamps are really expensive in Danish shops, so I ordered mine from Amazon and even with the shipping costs, it was cheaper 🙂
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My normal daily cream doesn’t cut it anymore during the extreme windy and cold days. My skin (especially my face) and sadly my lips get super dry and fragile every winter, no matter if I lived in Germany or now in Denmark. It’s terrible and feels painful, and of course, it looks unhealthy as well. The area around my nose was always red and dry. I started to use an additional cream to my daily skin care routine, and it got way better and really helped my face to look healthier and be less dry during the winter days. (I have been using a Propolis Crème from Danasan which you can buy here and it work wonders on my face and lips!).
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No matter how cold and windy it is, I would recommend leaving the apartment for at least 30 minutes a day. Like many others, I tend to stay in my cozy, warm home and watch Netflix on my free days and I don’t leave the apartment at all – but I made the experiences that I am very short-tempered, easily annoyed and tired during those days. Therefore I told myself to be outside and leave the room for a short walk every day. Honestly, the snowy winter landscape can be so beautiful. Sometimes I combine it with a walk to the gym for a short workout to freshen up a bit.
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Not in general of course – but don’t trust the public transportation during the winter months! Especially not, when it just started to snow or rain or generally when it is cold and the tracks can be frozen. In the past years, the trains, metro and buses in Copenhagen were always delayed during the first days of snowfall. Logically all the taxis are booked during that time as well, so either plan more time in or suit up and bike against the elements.
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You know the saying “Dress to impress” – but forget about it during the Danish winter. Dress to survive! Put layers of clothes on, wear a warm, thick winter jacket, hat, and scarfs – basically, wear everything you own.
This is not the time to look good and personally, I don’t know anyone who does during these months. But let’s just all agree to never take pictures or make fun of each other when we bike during snow or rain in something that looks like our skiing equipment.
To be honest, no matter how warm and waterproof you dress up and how much you prepare for the winter – it’s not until you bike against the wind, when you realize, that you are not ready for this – at all.
For me, there is nothing worst than biking, when the wind blows snow or rain in my face and I don’t seem to get forward at all – and in these moments I wonder “ I live in a place where the wind hurts my face.. why do I do this to myself?”. But after all, winter in Denmark can be really beautiful and the landscape and city have its charm. Good luck surviving the winter 🙂
If you are living in Denmark, you might enjoy my blog posts about what I’ve learned about Denmark and since you are already home and on the internet, you can go on a little shopping spree with my list with Danish presents idea (codes are valid in 2017 as well) 🙂
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My latest project: Check out my minimalistic and Scandinavian-styled poster in Metropolife webshop. You can use the code CPH for a discount 🙂