It’s cloudy. I don’t know about you and the weather where you’re at today, but here in Nyköping, it’s cloudy and raining and dark. The candles are lit and there is hot tea here beside me, but still, as the days are getting shorter and the weather is increasingly damp and chilly, I find that staying positive can be tough. I’ve been falling into the slump.
Maybe you know what I’m talking about? That post-move slump. After I first arrived everything was wonderful and exciting and I absolutely fell in love with Sweden. But, as with all new things, when the novelty wears off I can’t help but experience a dip of disappointment as new becomes normal and real life comes crashing back in.
I still love it here, but sometimes, especially when frustrations or miserable weather roll in, it’s hard to be quite as enthusiastic as before.
Perhaps you have been feeling the slump as well. Maybe you’ve been here for a while and are still struggling with immigration, or are frustrated trying to find a job, having trouble adjusting to the approaching winter, or missing your family and friends back home.
Whatever your situation is, remember that you came here for a reason, and despite all of the bumps you may be experiencing now, it was a good one. This is an adventure!
As a “newbie” myself, making the effort to build healthy habits into my Swedish schedule was the the number one thing that helped me move through the grey days and embrace life here. Exercise, good food and some decent sleep work miracles! The gyms here are marvelous, many with saunas and an area to relax and have a fika (coffee/tea) after your workout – if you haven’t checked one out yet, go! A membership may be a tad expensive, but they are worth it.
Of course, this is also a chance to reset your goals and stick to diet that makes you feel good. Luckily, Swedish grocery stores are chock-full of healthy food, which means that fueling your body with great food is easy – just make room in your cart for the candy aisle and indulge in some Swedish sweet treats!
Making your own friends
Adding fun and friends into my days was also an important step to curing the post-move slump. Luckily most Swedes have strong English skills. Even so, there can be a bit of language barrier, but staying engaged pays off. Put away your phone, and focus on the people around you and don’t worry if you string together basic Swedish words – many people I’ve met have been shy about their English and absolutely love any effort I put in. A little “hej hej, hur mår du” goes a long way!
Ask for help
If you’re having trouble meeting new people – let’s be honest, Swedes can be a little reserved! – take full advantage of the opportunities around you and be open with what you need. Are you looking for a job, or a roommate, or a new hairdresser? There is no shame in being unsure and reaching out for advice. Being open about the challenges that you’re having can lead to help from surprising places!
There are classes and clubs in all cities and they provide a great place to mingle with some locals. The more I put myself out there, the easier I am finding it to meet people and build up a social network.
Lastly, be patient. Moving can be overwhelming and exhausting but we’ve already done the most difficult step – getting ourselves to a new country! Take a moment to be proud of all that you’ve accomplished. As the weeks go by, everything will fall into place, the sun will shine once again and the beautiful, exciting aspects of Swedish life will be obvious once more!
Until that day comes, feel free to reach out to me on here in the comment section or by a message on my blog. Best of luck!
Written by: Lily Kaufmann
Hi, I’m Lily! I’m 21 and originally from Canada, although more recently I have been backpacking the world. I was an athlete most of my life and a Diver (or, if translated directly from Swedish, a swim-jumper) for the university I attended in Miami, USA. I’m excited to be in Sweden to settle down and to explore my passions and hobbies which include writing, reading and cooking. I am living in Nykoping with my boyfriend, a native Swede.