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What Scandinavians can teach us about accepting winter

Dr. Solhaug’s observations are consistent with psychological studies on the benefits of being in nature, showing that even short periods of time spent outdoors improve mood, mental and physical health.

Meik Wiking, CEO of the Institute of Happiness in Copenhagen, said these benefits come from “outdoor fins,” “following people over time reveals that they are happier outdoors. “. McGurke puts it another way. “For me, going out is really a form of self-care. I give priority to it because I get joy from it. There are days when it’s harder to go out than others, but then you go out You will never regret having come out. “

Also, you don’t have to live next to a Norwegian fjord to enjoy the benefits of friluftsliv. As Dr. Solhaug says, it’s easy. “Wear enough clothes to avoid getting wet or freezing and go outside. Go to the nearest place around you that you like: in the park, in the harbor, along the river through the city, In the woods, on the rooftop where you get a good view. Incorporate! Feel the temperature, the wind, the air. Smell! See! And the important thing is to put hot coffee in a thermos. “

Growing up on the Jersey Shore, I focused on how winter limits me. I couldn’t lie down on the beach or eat on the promenade. But in Norway, I learned to look for opportunities that winter brings.

One of these intentionally uses light to celebrate the darkness of winter. Indoors, families gather around fireplaces and candles.As trend watchers know, accepting cozy things is known as the Hygge. Danish; Koselig In Norwegian. As Wiking explains, “Hygge is part of Denmark’s national identity and culture. Hygge is an antidote for cold winters, rainy days, and dark duvets, so Hygge is a year-round You can enjoy it, but it’s not only a necessity, it’s a survival strategy during the winter. “

Making things into hygges and coserigs isn’t just about blankets and hot drinks. It’s about satisfaction, a sense of psychological comfort as well as physical. Dr. Solhaug said that third-year daughters are regularly asked to put logs in school bags, and classes can spend part of their school day around a bonfire made of one log from each child. I said I could. This idea of ​​gathering to celebrate the darkness of the outside can not only be gathered in a Covid-19-friendly way, but can also be very meaningful. Whether it’s an inner candle or an outer bonfire, lighting a flame is a heartfelt moment and an opportunity to pause and enjoy.

Changing your mindset can, well, start by changing your mindset. Watch winter with your thoughts and your speech. As for your thoughts, start by understanding what you like about winter. Maybe it’s a chance to light a fire, even in the daytime. Maybe it’s an opportunity to get hooked on cooking, reading, or art. Maybe it’s a way to make the world quiet right after the fresh snow. And whatever it is, try to consciously focus on them. Having a positive mindset of winter does not mean denying the reality of winter or pretending to like every aspect of winter. When it snows, the light diffuses and is beautiful, so you may need to shovel the driveway. But paying more attention to any of these can make a big difference in how you experience the snowfall.

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