Friluftsliv is the new Hygge, and it's the key to getting through winter

The uplifting Nordic concept is the perfect antidote to the long, dark winter months on the horizon

(Image credit: Unsplash)

Staying mentally strong and happy throughout the upcoming winter months is going to be more important than ever before. The impending winter is set to be particularly long and lonely due to existing coronavirus protocols and stay at home orders cropping up around the country once again.

And while most of us opt to get warm and snuggly indoors—a big stack of books, tons of candles, and cozying up on the couch is a great option on a cold winter’s night, we admit!—the Nordic art of Friluftsliv (pronounced like “free-loofts-liv”) may just be the answer to our collective pandemic fatigue and feelings of being stuck in the house.

Despite their shorter days, colder nights, and longer winters, most Scandinavian countries rank at the top of the totem pole in terms of overall happiness due to their enviable way of putting a positive spin on everything—and practicing the art of Friluftsliv is no different.

Friluftsliv essentially means honoring the outdoor landscape; a mood-boosting concept that encourages embracing the winter months and all that comes with it, by getting outside and actually enjoying the cold—whether that means bundling up and nursing a cup of mulled wine on the patio with friends (at a safe social distance) or making a point to take your fitness routine outdoors (who doesn’t love a festive little skating rink situation?!).

Whether you’re hoping to beat the winter blues for good or you’re simply sick of staying at home and can’t imagine another night bundled up on the couch, embracing the winter months and getting outside is as easy as shifting your mindset—and investing in some cold winter essentials that will make the sub-zero temperatures a little more comfortable.

Below, we’ve outlined a handful of Friluftsliv must-haves that are guaranteed to enhance your winter experience and might, with the right mindset and intentions, even turn you into a winter person.

Kaitlyn McInnis

Kaitlyn McInnis is an experienced writer, editor, and consultant based in Montreal, Canada. Formerly on the management teams of multiple leading national publications, she currently writes about travel, lifestyle, luxury, and wellness for publications like Travel + Leisure, Tatler, The Points Guy, MAXIM magazine, and more.