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Embracing Friluftsliv

"Hygge" is the Danish term used to embrace comfort indoors when it is cold. Similarly, there is a Norwegian word called "friluftsliv" that refers to the enjoyment of winter outdoors. "Friluftsliv" translates to "open-air living." It essentially means to enjoy winter as opposed to put up with it.

Our kids have no problem living the "friluftsliv" life! It is a bit tricker for us moms. Whenever we plan to go outside, it takes twenty minutes to find all the snow pants, gloves, hats, and boots with at least one overheated child melt down. However, once the door opens, it is welcomed with the rush of cold air. I subsequently feel lighter when allowing myself to play with them.

Admittedly, it is hard to feel excited about the cold as the season drags on. With this in mind, I try to get in the habit of going on 20 minute winter walks. This can be with or without kids. The stillness brings peace and tranquility. In a moment of mindfulness, I can appreciate life for what it is in the present. Sparkling snow with the setting sun and the rush of cold air on my face with ice crunching under my boots.

How can you experience "friluftsliv"? Here are some ideas:

  • Nature walk

  • Hiking

  • Sledding, snow tubing, snowshoeing in areas with snow

  • Look for signs of winter animal tracks

  • Ice skating or ice fishing

  • Snowball fight (either real snow or make plush snowballs)

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