22 February, 2017

5 Ways I survived My First Winter as a Newbie

This article was inspired by my friend who will be moving to Sweden soon and doesn’t know what to expect. I decided to share my first winter experience and how I survived it. Hopefully, this will help a newbie and my friend as well.

As a newbie, chances are that you don’t know what to expect in your first winter. You might have heard a lot of people talk about the darkness and how much you need to take a lot of vitamin D *lol*,

Remember to take Pictures!

but there are other things you need to know about. In this article, I will share my top 5 essentials on how I survived my first winter in Sweden.

  1. I learnt the “layers” trick – If you are from Africa like me, tendencies are that you love to combine colours, you always want to dress well and pay attention to details but I’m sorry to burst your bubble. If this is your first winter, my top advice for you is to pay attention to proper covering of yourself such as learning the layers trick and combining one or two clothes items that will keep you very warm and safe. Although, you can still be fashionable with your jackets but always remember the layers trick.
  2. I bought the proper winter shoes/boots/socks – Oh my, good shoes is a must! For a newbie on a budget, I will suggest you start with only one pair of good winter boots. I would not advice you start with a boot with heels if you are a woman, except if you are used to walking on a slippery road, but I’d advise you invest in a good boot and thick socks. Some days the roads can be slippery and it becomes really difficult to walk but with your good boots, you are definitely good to go.
  3. I always check the weather forecast before going out – There will always be those good sunny days where you can dress lightly but don’t be caught unawares when the weather changes abruptly. Make sure to check your weather app on your phone or google before stepping out. Also check the duration of the time you will be out. Some days can be warm in the morning and very cold in the evening. Don’t be overconfident. Also, go out in the early hours of the day, it gets dark really fast. You should maximize the few precious sun light hours.
  4. I had to ensure proper hair management – If you are African, you need to pay particular attention to your hair if you don’t want to be literally hairless by the end of winter. My advice is to do a protective hairstyle through the period that will keep your hair safe. Ensure to moisturize your hair regularly because of the dryness and don’t forget to cover it up.
  5. I never go a day without my lip gloss/balm – This is one of my essentials. Always have one in your bag or pocket. The lips can really get dry and sometimes cracky. In times like this, having a lip balm just beside you can save you.

Though I was scared at first and didn’t know what to expect, the above tips helped a great deal. I survived my first winter, of course, and it wasn’t as bad as I was made to believe after all. Don’t forget to take pictures as well but remember to protect your fingers with gloves. I hope you find these tips useful and handy.

Written by: Wemimo Ibidunmoye

My name is Wemi and I recently moved to the Northern part of Sweden (Umeå) with my husband. I’m originally from Nigeria and I blog at where I share a bit about everything such as living in Sweden, motherhood, hacks, tips, life experiences amongst others. My hobbies are reading, writing, making new friends and listening to music.

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