Independent University Newspaper
Copenhagen Business School

Popular searches:

Independent University Newspaper

Copenhagen Business School

How to survive Danish winters…

a room with a nice and rural design

"Go out and explore. I love to visit Hornbækhus in the colder months and cuddle up in front of their fireplace with a hearty lunch," says Caroline Sølver. (Photo by Caroline Sølver)

Winters in Denmark are long, grey, dark and cold. From our student writer, Caroline Sølver, here’s a hands-on guide of her best tips for getting through Danish winters. Hygge is her answer.

Guide |   27. Nov 2020

Caroline Sølver


For as long as I can remember, I’ve dreaded the winter months. Getting up early while it was still pitch black and freezing outside, being forced to leave my warm bed and brave the cold outside in order to get to class or work.

Leaving school or work a couple of hours later, and finding it was already pitch black again. Going home, with barely enough energy to stay awake till bedtime, falling asleep and doing it all over again for the next four months. That used to be the sad recipe for my dreaded winter.

Until I realized that unless I chose to relocate to a warmer location, I’d be stuck with Danish winters. And if you can’t beat them, join them. While I still get caught out by winter depression, I try my best to make the most of it. And I am ready to share my tips!

This is the formula not just for surviving Danish winters, but for even enjoying them. If you’ve experienced Denmark during winter before, you know that you’re in for a consecutive row of cold, grey dark months. Brace yourself, because it’s coming. This is your ultimate guide on how to survive the winter, and hopefully enjoy it, as well.

Hygge is the way

I read this very interesting article on how people living in near-polar climates avoid seasonal depression. In a nutshell, the secret is: “People view winter as something to be enjoyed, not something to be endured”.

So the quick fix is to enjoy winter instead of dreading it and enduring it once it arrives. This is where the famous hygge comes in, something Danes are experts at.

Instead of hating winter’s guts, shifting your mindset to actually make the best of winter will work wonders. Instead of longing for long, light summer nights, enjoy the dark, hyggelige winter nights that were made for lounging at home with a Netflix marathon, a good book, lit candles and by your side.

a plaid and a cup of coffee

Making the most of winter is all about hygge. I make less plans and take time to stay at home, read books and drink warm drinks. (Photo by Caroline Sølver)

Make up a hygge winter bucket list

Make a bucket list of hygge winter activities that will make winter enjoyable. It could be a day of crafting Christmas decorations with friends. Go for a long walk somewhere beautiful. Test out a new recipe, preferably something warm and hearty. Go ice skating. Ultimately, a hygge bucket list of fun winter activities will help shift your mindset from hating winter to enjoying winter.

Self-care all the way

On a more serious note, I am self-aware enough to know that sadly I am prone to being struck by seasonal affective disorder. The darkness hits me like a ton of bricks, and I find the energy and motivation leaving my body as winter arrives.

When indoor winter hygge might not cut it, take drastic measures and roll out the heavy artillery. Taking care of yourself is key. Make sure you eat well and healthily, get enough vitamins, and get enough sleep (actually, we need an hour of extra sleep during the dark winter months). Hit the gym, as working out is the best mood booster, see people who bring you energy, and do things that make you happy – these are all vital for ensuring you endure, and hopefully enjoy, winter.

Go exploring

While staying at home, cuddling up on the couch might constitute hygge, that can be done all day every day throughout the long Danish winter. Before COVID, I’d have said that the ultimate goal would be to skip the Danish winter for a few weeks and swap it out with a beach somewhere in Asia. Not this year.

the lake in Copenhagen

When the sun finally peeks during fall and winter, it’s a sight for sore eyes. (Photo by Caroline Sølver)

Instead, go exploring in your backyard. As we can’t travel, traveling must come to us. Visit that exciting new restaurant – I can recommend Hidden Dimsum if you’re looking for authentic Chinese food or the new Hija de Sanchez in Nordhavn if you’re longing for Mexican street food – and the chance to explore a new neighborhood.

Putting on your explorer glasses and warmest outfit and trying to find something new, whether it’s a restaurant, a new neighborhood or a new experience, will definitely boost your winter spirits.

The good news is that winter never lasts forever. I try to remind myself that without winter, we wouldn’t long for and love the Danish summer as much as we do. It’s all about contrasts. Are you ready to ditch your winter blues and make the most of winter? I know that I am (or, at least I’m well prepared and trying my very best!)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

How to survive Danish winters…by

  • News

    Staff layoffs: What happens if you’re fired

    The clock is ticking. On Thursday morning (5 October), CBS employees will know if they are up for dismissal or not. But what will happen on the day? What emotional stages are you likely to encounter? And who will be there to pick you up when you are feeling the blow of being laid off? CBS WIRE has talked to HR and the consulting agency Actief Hartmanns to provide you with answers.

  • News

    Network, network, network – CBS graduates advise on getting your first job

    There are many approaches to finding your first job. Three recent CBS graduates talk about how they landed theirs. Their approaches were quite different, yet they all highlight networking as a key element.

  • News

    A-Z of the dismissals

    In these final days of September, the fate of a number of CBS employees is being decided. The final amount of money saved on salaries via voluntary severance agreements (aka redundancy packages, Ed.) and senior agreements will be known.  After this, the actual number of employees up for dismissal will be decided by management – and then the individuals will be selected.

  • News

    Layoffs break the crucial trust between organisation and employee

    CBS is laying off a number of employees soon, which will affect our university in different ways. When employees are fired without having done anything wrong, it shatters the trust between the organisation and employees, while also taking a toll on productivity, according to a CBS expert. Layoffs also affect the ‘survivors’, who are forced to adapt to a changed workload and the loss of cherished colleagues.

  • News

    Here to help – at the touch of a button and at Campus Desk

    Exam anxiety? Lost student card? I’ve wedged my car between a Fiat 500 and a lamp post, can you help? You never know what you’ll be asked next. But that’s just how the Campus Desk team like it. And if they can’t fix your problem, they’ll know someone who can. CBS WIRE asked the team about the whole range of topics they advice on every day.

  • Gif of the week
  • News

    CBS Quiz Time: Unraveling the success story

    A successful university environment such as CBS is often associated with academic pursuits, but campus life extends far beyond the classroom. At CBS Quiz Time, a student society motivated by creative thinking and social engagement, students join in a refreshing range of creativity, excitement, and social interaction. CBS WIRE talked to Celine Møller-Andersen to find out about the society’s vision, strategies and the factors that are driving its rapid expansion.

  • News

    Why so sudden? The CBS financial crisis explained

    Employees and union representatives have posed many questions in the wake of the 17 August announcement of a firing round. In this interview, University Director Arnold Boon explains how Senior Management has been working with the budget and a change of financial strategy since the fall of 2022, and why layoffs are now necessary.

Follow CBS students studying abroad

CBS WIRE collaborates with

Stay connected