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.

A murmuration of starlings over sea shore with end of pier in view
View of stunning landscape in Norway with girl sat on cliff edge overlooking Fjord
Sunshine peeking through boughs of tree covered in orange autumn leaves

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.

Rain on window on garden studio with view on breeze house thatched roof
Two small children in winter clothes about to sledge down a snowy bank
Close up on a person wearing wellington boots standing in a puddle

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.

Hands around a mug of hot chocolate with marshmellows with fire pit in background
Early evening in garden with lit firepit and festoon lights decorating garden studio
Table set for dining outdoors in the evening

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?

ladders covered in ice into ice hole bathing pool
Woman wild swimming while looking at view of mountain
Couple reposing in a hydrofoil hot tub at night

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.

Book Giveaway Competition

Cover of Friluftsliv book by Oliver Delorie

Share your ‘open air moments’ with us on social! Tag us on Instagram, Facebook & Twitter for a chance to win this new book filled with friluftsliv ideas by Oliver Delorie. If you’re an owner, make sure to include your garden building.

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