18 September, 2020
September is settling in and yet another season has been and gone (seriously, where has time gone this year?). Some of us have already started dreading the inching arrival of the colder months. Winter this year may be particularly hard for our mental wellbeing.
The summer season, with lockdowns behind us, brought the reopening of cafes, shops and restaurants. These places embraced the warmer weather and emptier streets and created outdoor spaces for people to reconnect with friends and family in a Covid-safe way. But with winter approaching, thermometers dropping and Covid cases rising, how are we meant to keep our spirits high? Do we risk crowding into pubs? Do we go for rainy-day cycles?
As the Norwegians say, ‘there is no bad weather, just bad clothes.’ In the same way the world embraced the Danish hygge way of life, this year we suggest embracing the Norwegian concept of friluftsliv, or open-air living. Norway endures polar winters yet – following friluftsliv tradition – they spend a lot of times exploring the outdoors even when the weather is terrible. And have we mentioned they are the 5th happiest country?
So, instead of dreading a gloomy winter, change your mindset this year and embrace the winter blanket picnics, raincoated hikes and sweater weather cycles. If you really aren’t feeling up for friluftsliv, perhaps consider relaxing alternatives like adopting the Swedish fika coffee if you’re back in the office or a Spanish sobremesa after a delicious dinner with (a limited amount of) friends.
By Marie Guérinet