As the winter blues start to hit us, it’s time to look for something to help us enjoy the winter again.
I live in Canada where the winters are long and cold (or even longer and colder the farther north you live) and the winter blues (AKA seasonal affective disorder) are a real thing. It usually starts after the holidays, in January one of the coldest months, and can last months. Spring sometimes does not appear until early May. So how can we enjoy winter again?
In Scandinavia, known as one of the happiest countries in the world, they don’t just endure the long winters, they downright enjoy and look forward to them! A psychology professor named Jaime Kurtz (reference below) might say their language, their words, are the key to understanding how they endure the long winter. Take for example the Danish word hygge (pronounces hooga). Professor Kurtz explains the closest English translation is a mix between cozy and togetherness.
“It’s not just cozy with a blanket and a glass of wine, it’s also interpersonally cozy—so having a few people with you talking about issues and things you care deeply about. Having some candles lit, maybe a nice warm drink in your hand. Feeling safe and content.”
As I’ve pondered about this, I have to admit it sounds really great! I love Christmas and how it brings people together towards the end of December, but I would love to enjoy all of winter with that same togetherness.
In our Canadian winter, we should take a cue from Scandinavians; we can all take some time to plan a small, cozy type of get together, where everyone can feel that same togetherness. To enjoy each others company and give those people something to look forward to. It does not need to be over the top or extremely well-planned, but just simple as professor Kurtz has explained.
In my life, I have always found that having something to look forward to is very important to shake off the blues. Winter is always hard, but don’t close yourself off. Get out (if you can) or give someone a call. Reconnect with people and enjoy being cozy.
Do you get the winter blues? How do you shake it off?
Send me a message with your experience.