How to survive the German winter
Everything is so cold and dark here
Maybe you know that: the winter in Germany can be really mean. It is cold and wet and gray and you might get the feeling that it will never be light again. Slowly you become really depressed and long for a change.
On the one hand, this may be because you are experiencing your culture shock as an expatriate (see my blog article: How you survive the culture shock as an expatriate). On the other hand, I am sure that you do not yet know my tried and tested German winter hacks. Buckle up, it's going to be fun.
My 25 hacks: how you survive the winter in Germany
1.Take the sun vitamin D: Your body can hardly produce vitamin D itself in the months with little sun. Vitamin D´s main task is bone health. It also supports the immune system, muscles, and hair. Vitamin D deficiency can lead to depression and especially winter depression. It's best to have a blood test done at your family physician (thank you German helath insurance!). He can also see if you need other vitamins and minerals.
2. Buy a decent winter jacket: some warm up to - 40 degree Celsius. You can find really warm jackets in the outdoor shops, for example. You should take off your jacket when you go into a building so you don't start to sweat. Sweat cools the skin.
3. Dress in the onion principle: wear different layers on top of each other. Singlet, t-shirt, sweater, jacket. So you can remove the individual layers if necessary and at the same time have good insulation.
4. Wear a scarf hat and gloves: Most of the warmth goes over your head. Yes, your hairstyle will suffer. You will survive it.
5. Buy warm socks: preferably merino wool socks. You can get them in health food stores or in various outdoor shops, for example. They are not cheap, but a very good investment.
6. Buy warm shoes or fur inlays: you can get them from DM or at a shoe store. They keep your feet warm and insulate against the cold.
7. Wear a thermoleggins or thermal underwear: you can find them at the DM or in the outdoor shop (ski underwear) Yes, a little unsexy.
8. Natural materials - like wool - are better: plastic does not warm.
9. Candles, candles, candles: you can use them to create a cozy atmosphere.
10. Invite friends and family to dinner: there is simply nothing like a great time with friends and family and a meal together: whether dinner, lunch or breakfast, as long as there is food, drinks and a good mood, everything is good.
11. Take a walk no matter what the weather is like: it doesn't matter where you go: to a park, to the nearest café, around the block or through the forest. Grab a friend and enjoy the fresh air. If nobody wants to join in: No problem, you can let your thoughts wander even alone. Enjoy the sun as long as it can be seen during the day.
12. Take your time: For a nice book on the sofa or under the duvet. Watch an exciting film, solve puzzles, knit a scarf or paint a picture…. Make it comfortable for you! Light a candle, snuggle up in a warm blanket and make yourself comfortable on the sofa. A tea and freshly baked cookies. Hmm ...
13. Make your home beautiful: Muck brave, organize your documents and enjoy your tidy home.
14. Learn to accept the cold. You cannot change them, just learn to deal with them. Sounds stupid, but it's just cold and wet here. You can start doing it in autumn. It's all a matter of attitude - don't complain, it will make it worse.
15. Turn down the heating: if you always have 25 degrees at home and it is below zero outside, then your body will have even more difficulties getting used to it. Better wear a warm sweater and thick socks. You also save money when your room temperature is at.
16. Ventilate: open the window for a couple of minutes during the day. So you get used to the cold and the fresh air brings you new energy.
17. Change your food: German cuisine is different in winter than in summer. For good reason. People have got used to winter over many generations. You have to get to know the effect of a warm soup, potatoes and high-fat food: it warms.
18. Stay healthy and fit: continue your sport, go outdoors for a walk. Ride a bike and eat healthy and green.
19. Join the Latino community 🙂
20. Don't be a couch potato: go out and meet up with friends. Search actively for meetings with other people
21. Listen to music
22. Drink ginger tea with lemon. It warms.
23. Use warming pillows or hot water bottles: they warm your bed before going to sleep
24. Go to the sauna or thermal bath.
25. Buy a light lamp against the winter blues.
What is particularly difficult for you in winter and what are your hacks? I look forward to reading from you!
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