The New Hygge
Move over, hygge - there’s a new Nordic concept in town: friluftsliv. But before we get into the new hygge, here’s a quick rundown of the original. The word most closely translates to coziness, but more appropriately the mood of coziness with feelings of contentment and wellness. Hygge made its way across the Atlantic over the last few years, inspiring people to incorporate all things cozy into their lives. But the concept is more than just stocking up on scented candles and cashmere joggers - it’s a lifestyle and a state of mind.
So, back to the task at hand. You heard it here first, friluftsliv is the new hygge. Before you get your coziest blanket in a bunch, let us make our case.
As winter looms, we’re keen to borrow again from our Nordic counterparts who, consistently ranking as one of the world’s happiest nations, have a thing or two to teach us about staving off the winter blues.
Enter: friluftsliv. The term was first coined in 1859 by Norwegian poet Henrik Ibsen in his poem “On the Heights” and translates to “free air life”. Deeply ingrained in the country’s heritage, friluftsliv is a commitment to celebrating time outdoors, regardless of the weather. In fact, Norwegians have been incorporating this concept into their lives centuries before a word was ascribed to it.
You don’t have to be a hardcore outdoor explorer or enthusiast to get some friluftsliv into your life - it's simply about being more present in the moment and enjoying time spent outdoors and in nature. Getting your frilustsliv on helps humans meet a basic need - connecting with the natural world. Spending at least 120 minutes a week in nature has significant benefits on both health and well-being, according to a study published in 2019.
Instead of fearing the dark, cold winter months, Norwegians face it head on (and with good quality outdoor gear). They approach getting out in nature as a part of their lifestyle. This mindset about the outdoors, regardless of the weather, can have effects on how we experience it.
Friluftsliv doesn't have to be complicated - it could be a walk in the forest with friends and family, a leisurely stroll with your pup, an outdoor picnic, or having an utepils (another clutch Norwegian word that means to have a beer outdoors).
BRB - we’re going #friluftsliv-ing