November 5, 2021
Embrace your inner Viking and get on board with the Nordic concept of “friluftsliv.” (Free-Loofs-Leaf) The term roughly translates to “open-air living” and is popular in Nordic countries. Folks love getting outdoors, even in those cold northern winters of short days and freezing temperatures.
But why leave the cozy confines of your warm and toasty domicile in the winter months? Because getting outside in nature is good for your mental health. In addition to getting a boost of serotonin from the sun, walking (or jogging or hiking) around your local park can improve your mental mood, in addition to providing all the physical benefits a little exercise brings.
Friluftsliv can be a solution to Seasonal Affective Disorder, so if you suffer from the winter blues, getting in a little daily outdoor time helps. As the Norwegians say: “Ut på tur, aldri sur," which means “Out on hike, never in a bad mood!”
Do it as a group or do it alone
- Looking for a few suggestions for living your best friluftsliv? Try these:
- Skiing (duh!) Either downhill (or cross-country, if you want to feel the burn.)
- Make a checklist of parks or nature preserves in your area and plan to hike each one.
- Organize a backyard soiree with friends, complete with a bonfire and s'mores.
- Get a walking or running group together.
- Find a park near a coffee shop and meet some friends for a coffee klatch on the regular.
- Plan a fall/winter picnic complete with a thermos full of cocoa.
- Take a walk during lunch and find yourself getting happier and healthier.
- Get your downward dog on in an outdoor yoga class.
Bonus tip: Being comfortable can make all the difference, and let you maximize your time outside, so be sure to dress appropriately for the weather. Think layers. “As the saying goes, there is no bad weather, only unsuitable clothing.”