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Friluftsliv - The Nordic Art of Outdoor Living

Updated: Feb 23, 2023

Autumn is a time I often feel a little sad. The thought of the Summer being behind us and the thought of not feeling the sun on my skin for several months. Particularly the thought of day after day of grey British weather. I could let myself feel really down about it and let my mental health suffer as a consequence. I definitely have done in years gone past and some years ago suffered with SAD symptoms. Something I'm keen to avoid.

Having worked in Forest Schools and run an outdoor focused Nursery some years ago, I’m very familiar with the benefit of getting outdoors whatever the weather, for myself as well as for the children. I loved working in those jobs where I got to go on fun little outdoor adventures with the children every day. I also understand the importance of daylight for circadian rhythms and am very familiar with the saying “there is no bad weather, only bad clothing”, having often needed to explain the benefits of being outdoors to my British collegues and parents alike. The phrase “there is no bad weather, only bad clothing” rhymes in Norwegian, where it originates from. However, when you’re tired from working all week, it’s all too easy to look out at the grey and rain and decide to stay in the warm and dream of sunnier days.

I’ve been reading recently about the Norwegian concept of friluftsliv. It translates as “open air living”. Something that is deeply engrained in Nordic culture and in my soul. I need to be connected to nature and the earth to feel grounded and truly me. So this year, I’ve decided to focus on all the positives of Autumn and Winter, fully embrace friluftsliv and plan for a Winter season of amazing family fun and adventures to look forward to. Exciting! 😀

We’ve bought a van and will be spending our winter weekends on family outdoor adventures, (within the bounds of any upcoming changes to covid rules). Building our health, fitness, mental health, well-being and our family relationships all at once. We will be getting out on our bikes, walking and exploring places we haven’t been, discovering beautiful places in nature, and maybe even camping out in our van. We are currently exploring the UK, based in Herefordshire. Hopefully, we will also be able to explore outside of the UK some time soon (fingers crossed). No doubt you'll also see our son knee deep in a stream and generally poking things with sticks!

If you’d like to follow our crazy family adventures, subscribe to our blog and follow our Instagram @vanalamadventures. Connent below or on Instagram and let us know what you’re doing to stay healthy and sane this Autumn/Winter.

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