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Best way to survive the winter blues

Take a leaf out of Norwegian philisophy....

Kari Leibowitz, a health psychologist describes this time of year as the "winter doldrums." I would say this is especially true in the period after Christmas, while we await the first shoots of spring and longer, warmer days. She, however, remains optimistic about this time of the year due to “koselig” a Norwegian word that technically just means cosy, but in reality, is so much more than that. In Wales we have the word “cwtch” to sum up a feeling of warmth and cosiness and we are probably all familiar with the Danish concept of “hygge”.

Koselig is more grounded in outdoor enjoyment, rather than hunkering down under a pile of duvets and possibly verging on “goblin mode”! We can’t always get outside in the winter weather, but we can still embrace koselig and bring the outdoors inside - "even if you're indoors, you're not stuck inside — you don't have to be inside because there's nothing else to do”. Embrace being inside and cosy during the winter - have a get-together with friends, light candles, read books, learn something new. Create a pleasant environment, appreciate your circumstances and be happy when you are feeling content.

With everything going on right now we need to have something positive to look forward to and to keep us happy - koselig is a way to find joy in those moments where it can feel difficult to do so. Finding creative ways to be social - whether with friends or family - is a great way to incorporate the feeling of koselig in our lives. This can be as simple as having coffee with a neighbour, taking a walk, or maybe joining one of my workshops with your best friend. For me, I use this time to learn new felt-making techniques which I can share with future workshop participants. Being creative and achieving something new makes me happy.

So, seize the moment. Embrace and enjoy winter rather than endure or suffer though it… The 'moment', in winter - where there is enough snow to build a snowman or enjoy a hot chocolate with friends. Seize it because tomorrow it might be raining, grey and windy. Create an inner summer to feel like it’s warm all year long no matter the circumstances -get out the bright clothes, wrap yourself in colour, ditch the dull greys and blacks – feel koselig.

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