As the weather gets colder, a lot of people experience feelings of loss as they realise all the things that wintery weather makes it harder to do – get out and exercise, catch up with people, play certain kinds of sports and so on. In fact, so many people experience a dip in mood as the weather gets grimmer that there is a name for it – Seasonal Affective Disorder (or SAD).
While there are mixed opinions in the scientific world that Seasonal Affective Disorder actually exists, what cannot be denied is that for some people the winter months result in:
However, while it is true that winter does bring to an end many awesome summer activities, there can be many new joys that we can embrace in winter – and no-body does this better than the Danish.
In Winter the Danes embrace ‘Hygge’ as a philosophy – and it is all about being warm and cosy and embracing the comforts of staying warm and cosy at home. Check it out here:
Early in the video Hygge is described as a process of consciously creating everyday happiness – and I think that there is much that we can take from this – and not just in winter! But for the purposes of this article, and of avoiding the winter blues, why not consider adopting this mindset?
Winter may be cold and miserable, but it can also conjure up some beautiful cosy images of snuggling up under a doona, reading a book with a cup of hot chocolate. Or sitting in front of the fireplace with a glass of red (and the Danish encourage you to ignore calories in winter, and it doesn’t seem to be harming them!). It’s countless cups of tea and warm blankets, making lavish roast meals, burning candles, wearing your favourite woolly clothes and snuggling up with your pet or kids. Sounds pretty good!
Every season brings its own pleasures and interestingly, the Danes (like all Scandinavian countries) have some of the highest overall levels of happiness – and you cannot help but wonder if their ability to embrace joy under any circumstance is a part of this. I think it is much the same concept as those who managed to find ways to thrive even with weeks and weeks of lockdown in 2020 – you simply have to find those small moments of comfort and happiness.
Want to know even more about Hygge, or creating an environment that is hyggelig? (Pretty cool adjective huh?) You might like The Little Book of Hygge, or to embrace one of these shorter reads below…
Photo by Mikhail Nilov from Pexels