How to survive winter in Denmark

Yes sign black and white

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

It’s the first of February, which means, firstly, that we have survived (just about) January without buckling under the sheer volume of colds, viruses and aches and pains (surely it wasn’t this bad last year?) but also that it has been waaaaay too long since I last posted.

I think my writing mojo has been hibernating (I sure wish I had been for the last month). Sadly hibernation and full-time work are non-compatible. So as much as all I want to do right this second is curl up under the duvet with my Kindle, I am making myself write, in an attempt to get back on track with the blog. I have really enjoyed writing, and it has been nice to be able to look back and see how far we have come, but regular writing takes discipline and commitment. Funnily enough, now that 37 hours of my week are totally given over to working, and much of the rest of it juggling kids and family logistics, the writing has taken a bit of a back seat. I have lots of ideas swirling, but have not had much motivation to actually sit and plug away at the keyboard.

Anyway, here’s my six-point plan to surviving winter in Denmark!

  1. Buy ALL the candles. When we moved in here, our lovely landlord left us almost two boxes of candles. We thought that was…a bit excessive, and made them last almost all of last winter. After a while, we finally ‘got’ the Danish candle obsession – lighting a tonne of candles around the place really does help you feel better when it is dark and bleak outside. I don’t know why, but it does. And now, like proper Danes, we go though 20-30 candles/tealights a week.
  2. Have the right gear. As the Scandi saying goes, there’s ‘no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong kind of clothing’ (or something along those lines). It’s not actually that cold here (compared to the UK at least), but having decent, warm and waterproof outer layers is a no brainer, and my feet are super happy in my new snow boots (which I must admit I wear even if there is no snow, since my feet like being toasty). All the kindergarten kids pretty much live in all in one snowsuits and balaclavas from November to March since they still spend a lot of time outside.
  3. Take Vitamin D supplements. Obvious, but easy to forget in the rush to get out the door in the morning!
  4. Hygge up. When it’s cold and grey out at the weekend, don’t fight the hibernation urge, hygge indoors with candles, roast dinner and Planet Earth II. There’s a good reason we hardly saw our neighbours last winter. It’s not quite full hibernation, but it’s not far off…
  5. Plan something fun. Sometimes in the general blah of midwinter, it is only the thought of the next fun outing or treat that gets you through the daily slog. We may not have a winter sun holiday booked for February (possibly a tactical error) but we do at least have some nice meals out in the diary for the upcoming months, and visits from family and friends to look forward to.
  6. Look around. On the school-kindergarten-work-home treadmill, I try and savour the moments when I recognise it is getting lighter a tiny bit earlier, and dark a tiny bit later, and bit by bit the days grow longer. And of course, rejoice when we get a breathtaking blue sky as a respite from the grey!

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