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Dealing with the Swedish Winter

NEWS: Dec 5, 2019

The winter in Gothenburg can be tough. The daylight hours are few, the temperature is low and it is windy and rainy more often than not. This can of course be extra challenging if you are from a country with a completely different climate. To help international students and staff acclimatize, Welcome Services arrange a lecture every fall semester with tips on how to make the most of the Swedish winter.

This year’s lecture took place on November 7, just at the beginning of the winter. Some of the participants in the audience had never seen snow and were curious to hear about what to expect from the coming months.

The first speaker of the event was Glenn Bryant, a clinical psychologist working at Akademihälsan, who talked about the mental strains that the changing seasons can bring. He moved to Gothenburg from England seven years ago and found the lack of daylight during the winter to be hard.
“I thought the darkness in Gothenburg was the darkest I had ever seen.”

Glenn Bryant went on to explain that winter depression is a real thing, and the clinical term is seasonal affective disorder.
“It is more common for people who have not grown up in this kind of weather.”
On how to counteract feelings of melancholy during the winter season Glenn Bryant recommended going out for walks in the middle of the day, as that is when the sun is brightest. Another option is arranging your workspace to make sure that you sit next to a window and can soak up as much sunlight as possible while you work. Attitude can also be an important factor. If you are undergoing your first Swedish winter, it can help to simply register it a new experience.

Another great way to feel better is to activate yourself physically. Anders Raustorp, professor at the Department of Food and Nutrition and Sport Science, who spoke after Glenn Bryant gave tips and advice. He talked about eating healthy and staying active. This is especially important during the winter months, even though the weather does not always encourage one to go outside. Physical activity can actually reduce the risk of a number of deceases, and help prevent depression and mental illness.

Speaking last during the event was Nils Nävert, from the Welcome Services. He spoke of how to stay warm during the winter, the three-layer principle for clothing, how you might keep from slipping and falling on icy streets and much more. He also spoke of the joys of winter and ensured the audience that it is not necessarily depressing. The season brings with it possibilities for beautiful nature walks, ice-skating and skiing, among other things.
“Just go out and have fun! If you do, pretty soon winter will have you in its grip.”

BY: JOACIM SCHMIDT

Page Manager: Welcome Services|Last update: 12/5/2019
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