Friday, December 6, 2013

Dear Rachel, on staying sane during the Swedish winter

Rachel asked: 

I need a much needed tip of not wanting to crawl into bed when it's dark at 2.30pm (in Stockholm this weekend).

Or any tips for getting through a Swedish winter.

Hope all is well in NYC!

Rach x

Dear Rachel am afraid winter in Stockholm calls for careful planning, wine and exercise. 
In other places of the world exercise is an activity that you may or may not participate in, in Stockholm during the winter it is sadly necessary. Not just to increase strength but to give you a much needed lift through the natural high of endorphins and dopamines. 

Likewise, you need to catch actual daylight. This means you have to go out into the world whether you feel like it  or not and regardless if you have the time for it or not. You'd benefit from getting as close to the sun as you can - I suggest getting a year pass at Skansen, one of the highest points of the city. 

While in Djurgården, visit Rosendal to enjoy the hot cider. 
See friends. Make friends. Go to Storkyrkan and light candles for all your loved ones, dead and alive. 
Take hot baths. Wear slippers. Play beautiful music. 

Try to consider this experience in Nordic melancholy as something that might potentially enrich your life - as something you can pull out of the depths of your mind when you live somewhere else "At least i don't have to face the gloom of Stockholm in winter again".

Read funny books. 
If all else fails, take a quick trip to Rome.