Start your Friluftsliv!
It’s easy to feel like our lives are on hold as the virus continues to upend our plans.
As the nights draw in and days get shorter, the temptation is to hunker down and wait for it all to be over. But there is another way to get more out of this winter. We need to look to our Norwegian cousins and embrace the idea of “friluftsliv”.
To start friluftsliv-ing get out in the fresh air, commune with nature and don’t let the bad weather put you off! Just a couple of hours a week outdoors can lower your stress levels and give you a boost, both mentally and physically.
Not convinced you’re the outdoorsy type? Here are some ideas to inspire you to brave the elements.
1. Sit Still. Do Nothing.
When we get close to nature we see and hear things we didn’t before. When we leave the comfort of our four walls and set out into the big wide world we’re often driven by nagging feelings of necessity. Next time you’re sitting happily on a bench, peak of a mountain or shores of a beach resist the urge to get to the next thing. Take a moment. Take in the fresh air, the view, the sounds and the smells. You will discover a stillness to rival a Scandi spa.
2. Marvel at weather
Shelter from a storm. Nestle in a nook and listen to the sound of raindrops on the roof of your hideout. Play in the rain. Layer up, pull on the wellies and find your inner pluviophile (people who love rain). If we get a covering of the white stuff slide down a snow covered hill.
3. Eat al fresco
Many of us may be restricted from meeting indoors with friends and family but dining al fresco offers an opportunity for socially distanced fun. Make it more inviting by making your outdoor space as comfortable as possible. Light a fire and get the gang together under a magical starry night sky. Go further and serve a foraged supper or share food you’ve grown yourself. This is the very essence of friluftsliv. Norwegians love to eat outside in company. There’s even a special word, utepils, for drinking a beer outdoors. You could even try to incorporate some Norwegian flavours into your winter picnics?
4. No Fjord? No problem!
When you’ve tried everything and still don’t feel connected with nature on terra firma, there’s always water. In Scandinavian countries ice-hole bathing is a welcome release for the bold. Cold water awakens your senses like no other experience. While a soak in a hot spring thaws you out. Either way it’s a wonderful way to immerse yourself in nature when the elements are unkind. If you don’t live near a fjord or hot spring you can cheat and get yourself a hot tub.