Rainer Berg/Westend61

As Covid-19 infection rates rise and safety restrictions increase, there’s a lot to be learned from Scandinavia to help us stay happy when temperatures drop.

Remember the buzzword Hygge? This Danish phrase could be a lifeline if you’re in lockdown this winter.

As Covid-19 infection rates rise and safety restrictions increase, there’s a lot to be learned from Scandinavia to help us stay happy when temperatures drop. 

Hygge can be translated as a “feeling of cosiness”, the way you feel when you’re wrapped in a blanket drinking a warm cup of cocoa on the sofa. The Danes are used to cold weather and rather than dread the winter, they find ways to enjoy it. 

Many parts of the U.K. are living with stricter lockdown rules, and as days grow shorter and the weather gets colder, people are missing friends and family. If plans to visit loved ones have been cancelled and it’s too cold to go outside, make a hot drink and catch up on a boxset you’ve been meaning to watch, read a book, listen to music or play a board game. This winter should be about practising “self-kindness”, something people in Norway and Denmark prioritise when temperatures drop.

By adjusting your mindset and accepting the position you’re in, rather than fearing or fighting it, the next few months will feel more manageable. 

Reflect on what you learned from living in lockdown earlier this year, what worked and what didn’t? A few tweaks could make all the difference. If you’re still working from home, make sure your workspace is comfortable and take regular breaks to relax or take a brief walk outside to refresh flagging spirits.

For anyone with a family, dig out some board games, card games, or arts and crafts and give your children your full attention and leave your phone in another room. 

Baking is a popular winter pastime in Norway, so whip up some feel-good cookies or cupcakes, let your kids get involved in measuring and stirring; even if they make a mess, it’s a great learning experience. Then grab a hot drink, put on a movie, snuggle under a blanket and enjoy your tasty treats!

On those days when it’s sunny but cold, copy the Norwegians by wrapping up warm and getting outside for a breath of fresh air. A change of surroundings and light exercise will really boost your mood.

—Reuters


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