COZYING UP TO WINTER
Winter is coming. How does that make you feel? Do you seize up inside just a little, or do you embrace the idea?
Now more than ever we could use a shift in mindset from a state of mild dread to one of wistful anticipation.
Scandinavians have a reputation for celebrating winter, but it surprised me to learn that the further north you go (think less daylight and colder temps) the more their inhabitants look forward to the onset of winter. So what is their secret?
According to researcher Kari Leibowitz, the answer lies in arming themselves with a positive mindset. She carried out her research in the Norwegian city of Tromsø where in the dead of winter they receive only 2-3 hours of sunlight. And yet, their sleep and overall levels of happiness remain undisturbed. Their sense of well-being barely alters from season to season.
If you live in the Northern hemisphere and see yourself as a summer person the idea of long winter months after languid summer days can fill you with trepidation. Scandinavians on the other hand see winter as a time to look forward to. A time where coziness is cherished, where they happily anticipate the first crisp blanket of snow.
It is an attitude that they have nurtured over the years so today it is deeply embedded in their culture. They even have words to describe it ‘Koselig’ in Norway and ‘Hygge’ in Denmark.
Research shows that when we anticipate challenging times and prepare for them mentally it has physiological and mental benefits. Not only will you be happier but you will give your immune system a boost.
Three things I invite you to try:
- Dig out, or invest in a good pair of warm hiking boots or snowshoes and plan some winter outings
- Try the latest foodie trend of hot chocolate bombs. Delicious truffle-like balls of marshmallow encased in chocolate that melt in your mug of hot milk. Here is a recipe if you want to make them yourselves, or they are available in many stores, or from Etsy. Just a thought…add Baileys?
- Think of what the word ‘cozy’ conjures up for you. It could be snuggling under a warm blanket, sitting around a fire, cupping a hot cup of chocolate in your hands, cuddling a pet, candlelight, wearing thick socks or a soft wool sweater. As the days grow colder let’s turn to the things that make us feel nurtured and safe
Winter can be a magical time of the year if we give it a chance
Yours warmly (hot mug of coffee in hand)