4 ways the Norwegians are winning at winter wellbeingOct 12, 2021
As people around the globe come out of the global pandemic into a very different world, our stress levels are soaring while our joy de vivre is crashing.
There are a few simple habits common to their way of winter living that we can all kickstart to stay upbeat and stress free during these tricky months ahead.
1. They embrace the great outdoors
There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes.
The Norwegians have a saying, ‘There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes.’ So get wrapped up, step away from the screen and get outside. The Norwegians feel the benefits of this so much, they often go out in the dark with a head torch. Getting outside first thing brings about the most benefits to our body clocks, but any time of day is going to improve your wellbeing.
2. They keep active in mind and body
Start small rather than setting any big goals. Give yourself a chance to notice how you feel afterwards – maybe even note down how you feel. Once you find the habit, you won’t want to be without it.
3. They seek out the feeling of ‘Koselig’
Without a direct English translation, Koselig is similar but not identical to the Danes’ hygge. It’s all about cosiness, connection, warmth and happiness. Think thick blankets and hot chocolate, candlelit rooms and comfort food. It’s reframing how you perceive winter: rather than feeling stuck inside due to miserable weather, embrace the opportunity to get cosy and watch Netflix.
They even have a word for enjoying ‘cosy Fridays’ after a long week at work – Fredagskos. We need this in our lives right now, surely?!
4. They see challenges, not threats Norwegians show great resilience during the harsh winters they face year after year – and it’s all down to their mindset.
As the saying goes, “life is 10% what happens to us, and 90% how we respond to it.” I write more about this in my article about stress and the second dart but in a nutshell, how we deal with a stressful situation will determine the impact it has on our wellbeing. When we see a stressful situation as an opportunity, as something to learn from, we’re much more likely to cope better and adapt faster than we are if we perceive it as a threat.
How do we change our mindset though? As with everything, it takes practice. I’m a big fan of affirmations – I have around 8 to 10 in my phone and when I’m out walking, swimming, meditating, washing the dishes, I repeat them to myself. I can feel my mind shift to a more positive outlook as I repeat them in my head. It’s a great way to start the day.
So there we have it. Four simple ways we can emulate the happiest country in the world. I, for one, will be using this winter as a time to recharge my batteries, enjoy some proper R&R with lots of reading, reflecting, walking and probably a fair bit of gentle yoga thrown in.
I work with people and organisations determined to bring their A game to all areas of their world and are ready to create a long, happy and healthy life.
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