The holidays are over, the julgransplundring has been completed, it’s dark, it’s cold and maybe you’re feeling a bit of a let down after all that excitement.
The post-holiday blues are apparently a very real problem but don’t despair! Whether you want to exercise your brain, your body or your social skills, YLC’s Judi Lembke has five of our favourites ways to get back into the swing of things in the new year.
With national elections being held later this year perhaps it’s time to learn a bit more about how the Swedish government works. In winter the Parliament (Riksdagen) holds hour-long tours in English on Saturdays and Sundays at 13.30. The tours are popular so do get there early as there are just 28 spots available. Weekday group tours are also offered in winter only; they must be booked in advance and have 10-30 participants. After the tour you’ll be armed with the basics of how government works in Sweden, which should come in handy when the national conversation becomes more and more dominated by the elections this year.
Stockholm is littered with outdoor skating rinks and it’s the perfect city activity in winter. Some, like the rink at Kungsträgården, have rental skates on offer, while others, such as the giant rink at Vasaparken, are simply there for your enjoyment should you have your own skates. The best part is going for a fika, perhaps a warming hot chocolate or latté, after your skate at one of the city’s many fabulous cafés.
We all know Stockholm has one of the world’s most beautiful archipelagos at our fingerstips but most people only think of exploring it during the warmer seasons. You’re missing a rare treat if you don’t take a chance to explore the archipelago in winter. Winter boat tours are available and you can even sit outside on the deck with a blanket while the arctic winds whip you about. There are a number of boats that have onboard restaurants – this will afford you a great meal and a fabulous vantage point from which to delight in the stark beauty of the Baltic in winter.
Located just 15 minutes from Slussen (bus #401) this nature area has almost too much on offer to mention, but for winter it’s ice skating, cross country skiing, and – get ready – ice swimming! If you’re not brave enough to jump into the frigid water or strap slippery things on to your feet you can simply take a brisk hike along the well-marked nature trails. They fire up the barbeque every Saturday and Sunday and if you’re frozen to the bone after lots of outdoor activity head into the sauna and warm yourself to the core.
5. Organize a potluck dinner
The holiday leftovers have been eaten and after all that cooking and preparation for parties and celebrations the idea of hosting yet another dinner probably makes you want to curl up in a ball and shut out the world. But wait! You can still be social without making a huge effort. Come up with a theme – healthy, Mexican, French … anything will do – and ask a few friends to each bring a dish for a fun and casual dinner at yours. It’s a nice way to catch up after the holidays with minimal effort on everyone’s part and people will be relieved to kick back and have a relaxed evening in with good friends.