By Jessica Barber Goldblatt
I have been thinking a lot this fall about how to get through our long northern winters. How do we bare the weather, seal drafts, ski some and just get through until the spring comes? Then the Norwegian word koselig came to mind:
Koselig: More than anything else, koselig is a feeling: that of cosiness, intimacy, warmth, happiness, being content. To achieve the feeling of koselig, you need koselig things.
As the days get darker and colder in much of the northern hemisphere, it’s easy to indulge in gloom. For the next few months, you will be shivering. You will be battling foul weather. There will be no chance to see the sun after work.
The gloom leads to a common question: What can I do to cope with the dark and cold?
If you truly want to be happy during winter, though, this is the wrong approach to the season. Changing your mindset can do more than distracting yourself from the weather.
First, celebrate the things one can only do in winter. Getting outside is a known mood booster, and so keep going outside, whatever is happening out there. There is a saying that “there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.”
Create a sense of coziness. It’s like the best parts of Christmas, without all the stress. Light candles, light fires, drink warm beverages, and sit under fuzzy blankets, snuggle, make yummy food, hang out with friends, play games (so many good ones to play) sit on the couch watching Netflix. Be enamored with the sheer beauty of the season, deep in the winter, the snow sparkles, when it’s sunny the sun it is so bright, and it’s so still
A MINDSET SHIFT. One of the things we do a lot of in the States is we bond by complaining about the winter. This is easy enough to change; simply refuse to participate in the Misery Olympics. Talk about how the cold gives you a chance to drink tea or hot chocolate all day. Talk about ice skating, or building snowmen. Bundle up and go for a walk outside, knowing that you will likely feel warmer and happier after a few minutes. Better yet, go with a friend. Social plans are a great reason to haul yourself out from under the covers. Or just try to observe winter without much love or hate and know like all things it will pass and come again.
“And as they sang, the fear and the suffering of the long winter seemed to rise like a dark cloud and float away on the music. Spring had come. The sun was shining warm, the winds were soft, and the green grass growing.”
Jessica Barber Goldblatt is the owner of Interiors Green — the Home and Living Store at 2021 Main Street in Bethlehem, NH. www.interiorsgreen.com