One whammy during COVID is a lot. Two whammies can be downright cruel. The reality of the world today includes another possible lockdown in the coming months due to Coronavirus numbers being on the rise again.
Oh, and we are also about to enter the coldest time of the year with temperatures dropping quite often. Let’s not forget that Daylight Savings Time just passed so its dark by 5 pm daily leaving us in a state of confusion and possible depression as we try to figure out our evenings. Ugh.
The first lockdown was no doubt stressful on all of us. We had to switch to this new normal, both professionally and personally, that largely revolved around us being stuck indoors with only our smart phones and electronic devices to keep us entertained and on the up and up.
There was also the necessary adjustments we had to make work wise which turned out to be a plus for some and a minus for others.
So what if we actually are forced to go back into lockdown again but want to do a 180 this time in order to find some mental clarity? Enter Friluftsliv, a Nordic concept centered around getting outdoors.
Friluftsliv encourages people to celebrate their time outside regardless of how frigid the weather is. It’s a neat concept for those who have this kind of mentality embedded in their brains as they were already doing this during the hot months where they enjoyed a socially distant jog, hike or bike ride with their like-minded pals.
“Anyone looking for a positive headspace during the winter should begin to see the outdoors as a space for endless possibilities. Our mental health increases when we feel challenged and like the world is our oyster.” —psychotherapist Jennifer Teplin, LCSW, said in a recent interview about the matter.
Here are five different ways that you can experience Friluftsliv in the coming months regardless of where you call home.
1. Bundle Up, Get Out. Hibernating is a key element to the winter months as you naturally want to get cozy in bed with a good television show on. Why not throw some winter activities into your daily routine by putting on as many layers as desired and seeing what’s around you in your town or city? It’s a freeing feeling that will more than likely give you an extra boost to get through your work or down day.
2. Bring a Pal. Encourage your friends and loved ones to join you on your Friluftsliv expedition. You never truly know what their mental state is during the winter (plus COVID) and a fun & exciting outdoor activity could be just the thing to cheer them up. Even if no one is around we have FaceTime, Skype and other apps that they can join in on and keep you occupied as you make your way around.
3. Bye COVID Weight Gain! Friluftsliv is a great alternative to going to the gym which is still a very problematic situation for many in 2020 due to COVID. You can get your winter cardio in easily without having to deal with sweaty machines and ego-driven personalities surrounding you. Win-win folks!
4. Vacation All I Ever Wanted. Many of us purposefully don’t use our PTO until EOY (end of year) so that they can really enjoy a fabulous vacation for as long as possible. Even with COVID being a daily reality people are still safely traveling to the destination of their choice and having a blast while doing so. Friluftsliv comes into play for those who are outdoorsy that want to do a little skiing, snowboarding and anything else where you can glide to your heart’s content in an area you always dreamed of going.
5. Take Time To Focus On You. Feeling great is, well, great. COVID and the stresses of life have made us feel the opposite quite a lot over the past year. Friluftsliv is a way to take all of that bad energy and release it from yourself, even for a brief moment each day. And who can say no to that?