Hey, Central New York. The folks in Norway have some news for you: Winter's not all that bad.

Yeah, we know. You'd like to tell those blond Scandinavians to shove their happy attitudes straight up their icy fjørds. It's one of our God-given rights and pleasures to complain as much as we want about the darn weather, especially as Daylight Saving Time kicks in. But, there IS significant evidence to suggest that Norwegians may be able to teach us a thing or two about not just coping with winter, but turning it into a positive.

Kari Leibowitz, a Stanford PhD student, spent a year in northern Norway and wrote about it for The Atlantic. She says sunlight was minimal, but Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) was not as prominent as one might expect. In fact, she wrote:

The prevalence of self-reported depression during the winter in Tromsø, with its latitude of 69°N, is the same as that of Montgomery County, Maryland, at 41°N.

The key? Norwegians LOOK FORWARD to winter. So, it's all in our heads. Instead of dreading winter, learn to enjoy it. Change your viewpoint, like Bill Murray's character did in Groundhog Day, and EVERYTHING can change.

Even if we can't emulate the tightly-knit communities of small Norwegian towns, we CAN adopt some of their habits to make winter better:

  • Practice koselig, a Norwegian word that means coziness, by lighting candles and fires, drinking warm beverages, sitting under fuzzy blankets, and telling stories.
  • Partake in winter festivals or create your own with special games and cocktails
  • Revel in winter activities like ice skating, sledding, building snowmen, or just bundling up and going for a walk

So, next time someone in Central New York complains about winter, hit 'em with some good, old-fashioned Norwegian wisdom.