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How to survive Autumn in the Netherlands

Date:24 September 2020
If the weather allows - take a bike ride around Groningen to enjoy all of the leaves changing colours!
If the weather allows - take a bike ride around Groningen to enjoy all of the leaves changing colours!

Despite the lockdown we've had a great summer here in Groningen, and more recently we've had a last burst of sunny weather. However, the autumnal equinox occurred just a couple of days ago, marking the official start of autumn in the northern hemisphere. Also, in the lunar calendar followed by many in asian countries, today is the moon festival, a celebration of the autumn. To get you ready for the weather turning, here are a few tips on how to survive a Dutch Autumn.

Be like an onion: wear lots of layers 

Be prepared to be layering your clothes as the weather begins to drop. Bundle yourself up with sweaters, scarves, gloves and jackets. The temperature can change a lot throughout the day, the mornings will be cold and the afternoons will be mild - so having a lot of layers on will allow you to adjust to the confusing Dutch weather without overheating or freezing. If you don’t have any (nice) winter clothes - here is a reason to shop. You’re welcome. 

Shine bright 

The days are getting shorter, and as soon as daylight savings kicks in, it’ll be dark before you even leave your last class of the day. So make sure you stock up on bike lights before you get caught off guard by the darkness and get a €60 fine for not having lights on your bike. Stock up on a lot of bike lights because you will definitely lose them or someone will steal them (just don’t be that person who steals bike lights)!

Adapt to the confused  weather 

 Invest in a good umbrella,rain jacket and pants and keep them close to battle the terrible autumn rain. Like I said, the weather is ever-changing (if you’re ever caught in a rainstorm, 9/10 times it’ll be over within 5 minutes), so while you might think that it will be a nice day in the morning, you’ll be blindsided by a drizzle-rain-wind storm in the afternoon. If you feel like you’re too cool for rain pants - accept you’ll be damp all day. But the rain isn’t all bad - as soon as you’re inside you can enjoy the sound of rain falling while watching movies (bad weather is always a good reason for a movie night). 

Take your vitamins  

The lack of sunlight and the cloudy weather can restrict our daily dose of vitamin D. It’s important that you don’t get a deficiency in this as it can really impact how fit you feel. If there isn’t much sunlight around, make sure you get it another way, such as  eating fatty fish like salmon, tuna or mackerel at least twice a week. You can also get vitamin D through mushrooms, eggs and any type of milk (cow, goat, soy, almond) or you can get some vitamin pills.

Find a new (indoor!) sport 

The colder months may demotivate you to stay in shape (completely understandable) but it's good to keep exercising because it will make you feel more fit and happy. Try to find an indoor sport that you like so you don’t have to exercise outside anymore! I advise following a course at the ACLO such as boxing or pilates. 

So, if you’ve never experienced cold weather before, good luck with bundling up and try to make the most of it, because it isn’t all bad.

About the author

Hey! I’m Danique, a Dutch/American studying International Relations and International Organizations with a mild obsession with coffee, cats, and rowing. If you can’t find me, look for the girl (almost always) wearing pink and writing blogs.