It is so easy in the autumn and winter to slip into the rut of feeling miserable about the weather. I have read so many posts on Instagram and Twitter expressing extreme distaste for the current forecast that it prompted me to write this post to share another view.
First off, if you live in the UK like me, we are guaranteed to get wet and windy weather. We can get it on any day, in any season. And it is more than just reserved for the latter part of the year. I have written a few times about how to get out in the wet weather, which you can read here – there are tips for the reasons shared by my followers on Twitter!
The Dutch have a word for it!
As you know, I am learning Dutch, so any opportunity to share some wisdom from the Netherlands is right up my street. You have heard of ‘hygge’, a Danish concept for managing the winter blues, but now you have ‘uitwaaien’ (pronounced “OUT-vwy-ehn”) from the Dutch who also live with similar inclement weather to the UK. Uitwaaien literally translates to “blow out” but is better explained as “a walk in the wind”. It is based on the idea that walking or jogging into the wind is refreshing, invigorating, and mind-clearing. All great things if you’re looking for a boost during the darker, colder days.
So how can we get ‘uitwaaien’ in our lives?
Think of it this way, “I’ve got to get uitwaaien”: You must get out of your head and away from distractions for a little while. Carve out some time to get out, no matter the weather. It turns it from something that sounds like a chore to something you need to do every day for a bit more clarity, especially if you work at the computer a lot! Consider doing a Reverse Commute, as I do. I created it because I work from home and could go for days without experiencing the outside world of meeting people. It would have been a must if I had worked in an office. So I made it a must in my everyday home working life.
Change your perspective
Let’s face it, most of the bad feeling towards the weather comes from your mind. When you see other people enjoying it, don’t you wonder what is different for them? How come they can get all excited about getting wet and blown around? Perhaps they already know the benefits of uitwaaien?
If you carve out time to get out in the wind or rain and take a dose of curiosity with you, you will find plenty to enjoy in the colder, wetter and darker weather. The feeling when you get inside after being blown about is luxurious! The way the light plays on the water, the smell, the sounds. The tingling on your skin and the warm glow from inside make the whole experience give you a dose of free and healthy endorphins.
Do the two D’s
(Dutch and Danish!)
If you’re still hesitant and feel rather attached to the hygge concept, you could promise yourself a measure of hygge after you return from your uitwaaien. Get the invigoration of getting your heart going in the wind, then home to a hot chocolate and blanket. It sounds like an ideal blend to get us through the autumn and winter.
Whatever you do, don’t let the weather ruin the end of the year. There will always be forecasts that make you sign, but it is up to you to make the most of them. Get out there! Clear your head, and feel the benefits of free cryotherapy (a cold spa for which people pay a fortune) while enjoying a season you might not favour.
You’ve got to uitwaaien!