Expat Tales How to Survive Winter In Austria

Coming from beach Australia to live in Vienna Austria almost 5 years ago. I have had some time to adapt. Yet at the start of every winter – the days get colder and darker. And it hits me I have almost half a year to get through being cold or freezing every time i even open a window. Let alone step outside into the big bad world of Austrian winter.

I am not a cold weather kind of girl. I am not a snow lover or skier or ice skater. I don’t even like a hint of crispness in the air. I grew up in tropics. I am used to swimming almost year round and wearing sandals daily.

SADS. So aptly named seasonal affective disorder is REAL- yo. My mood gets lower, my skin turns paler and im dying of vitamin d deficiency. I have never been as pale in my life before I moved here. I don’t look like some romantic actor from twilight but resemble more a zombie from the walking dead. But on the plus side I think my risk of skin cancer has been greatly reduced.

My instinct is to bear down and survive. Hunker at home with carbs and wear long socks and only leave my house if it’s on fire. But I have been told that’s not healthy.

People ask me all the time “How do you like living in vienna?” and my reply is always “I love it in summer, don’t ask me about the winter” It’s just so damn long. It’s 6 months of coldness. And don’t give me this spring, fall business. Until I can wear sandals without risk of frostbite THAT is my personal measure of Winter.

luckily I have figured out a few ways to cope and make these long months and short days bearable.So here are some top photo hints to survive Winter


Hug some trees before it gets really cold and fall is over. Commune touch the earth and love it. You wont feel connected to mother nature as much in winter. And that’s some power earth goodness. I never realised how much i needed nature until I moved to Vienna.


Lots and lots of coffee, or tea or hot chocolate. Because it’s the one of the only  a handful of things that taste better in the cold.


Take up baking and make your home smell delicious. Try out some new recipes. Invite people around to enjoy your baked goodies.


Keep a lot of  lemons around. The moment I feel a touch of a cold i turn to lemons. They are a great source of vitamin c and drank in hot water have some detoxifying seriously anti bloating magic. Also winter fruit like pears and oranges and apples.


If you are stuck indoors much more, make your home a comfy little nest. Decorate corners and nooks. Add flowers. Make it warm and inviting. Treat yourself to some new couch cushions or a fuzzy blanket. Or brighten up a room with flowers. Also candles are key for winter. We stock up every season.


Read lots of books. Catch up on classics. Summer is for fluff fiction. Winter is for serious literature. Join a book club. Also its super important to meet up with friends and be social even if you don’t feel like dragging yourself out. You will always feel better you made the effort.


Meditation is key for me in winter. It keeps me grounded and present and content. It works wonders for keeping the winter blues at bay.  Also get a hobby. Painting, knitting, harp playing. Find something to occupy and inspire you. Oh and lots and lots of netflix.


The colder months are a great time to get all domestic. Start cooking more. Try making different kinds of soups. Experiment and get all Julia Child.


Eat a lot of donuts !!!!!!! You will have months to work on your summer body.


Also try to eat a lot of vegetables and pump up your immune system – so you don’t get struck with month like colds and viruses.


Last of all sleep in late. Get cosy and cuddly. Winter is a great time for introspection and soul-searching. And hibernation. And wait as patiently as you can for the moment you can sing here comes the sun by the beatles and bathe in sunshine.