Life as we know it is changing, we are living through a huge amount of uncertainty and unprecedented challenges. None of us know or fully understand how this will all pan out, all we can really do is take things one day at a time. In times like these, we all look for comfort, security and familiarity.
In Scotland, we would say now is a good time to ‘Coorie’ in.
As a ‘wee lassie’ growing up in Scotland I clearly remember my Granny inviting me to ‘Coorie’ in, meaning come and sit close and have a cuddle.
It’s an affectionate Scottish term that historically was used to demonstrate and communicate a softer side to a nation that is known for being a hardy bunch.
In recent years though the term has evolved beyond a simple phrase and action to become know as a way of life. Like the Danish concept of ‘Hygge” a simple and mindful way of life that has by all accounts made the Danish the happiest people on the planet. It would seem Coorie could be our own version.
Rooted in Scottish culture and a lifestyle that’s influenced by the rugged landscape the ever-changing and at times harsh weather, Coorie is about how we live, our surroundings, and our relationship with the land, our communities and ourselves.
The concept, and the real beauty of ‘Coorie’ is finding the balance of exertion and comfort. It’s about the combination of appreciating the great outdoors – even when it's cold and raining, (which it often is in Scotland!) its about wrapping yourself up in cosy layers, before going for a crisp, wintry walk, or finding happiness in wild loch swimming or climbing mountains. It’s the joy of being active outdoors then coming into the warmth and comfort of your home or eating smoked food around a campfire wearing cosy knits or nursing a drink next to a roaring fire in the pub whilst ‘blethering’ with friends late into the night.
It’s that mix of exertion and relaxation, where both actions are equally rewarding and even more enjoyable for having been done in tandem.
It the embrace of the wild and rugged followed by the cosiness and comfort of being indoors.
Coorie as a concept is simple and easy to embrace; it’s about finding joy in simple everyday pleasures and making the most of what’s around us.
Embrace the great outdoors, the elements, the landscape, and the views. Get outdoors, and take in all it has to offer. And that doesn’t mean you have to go far, what’s around you what’s on your doorstep that you can enjoy.
Good Food and drink; enjoy hearty healthy food, in-season local produce, homemade or smoked on an open fire. And of course, a wee dram never fails to warm us up and bring a rosy glow to the cheeks.
Our homes are important too; they become a place to enjoy. Our shelter, our place to feel safe and protected.
Living a Coorie way of life requires practising small, quiet, slow activities by engaging with our surroundings to find contentment. It’s about not fretting the small stuff, being more present and aware of the small space we take up in the world.
As we all adapt to living under lockdown conditions and self-isolation, we are also learning to adapt to life at a different pace.
The impact of the COVID 19 outbreak is forcing us to slow down, to work from home to reconnect with our immediate family and learn to become more self-sufficient and mindful. In many ways, we are being forced to lead a quieter more reflective existence. There is in a way, a humbling feeling that we are all part of something much bigger than ourselves, we are all in this together even in isolation we are all connected.
Never before have we experienced this enforced stop to our lives, our choices and habits. When we overcome the fears and anxiety that the situation brings we allow ourselves to discover the opportunity to embrace the new order of our life.
We identify and begin to enjoy the simpler things in life having been forced to step back from the stress and strain of modern living. Of course, this doesn’t mean it’s easy or worry-free, we are all dealing with difficult life-changing situations as a result of this pandemic. Lives are being lost and many more tuned upside down with unimaginable impact. And this is just the start; we have no real idea of what is yet to come or of the impact this virus will have on our economy and the life that we once lived.
For now, all we can do is take things one day at a time. A positive is that we can use this time to learn to live better, using what is around us, enjoying the slower pace of life. Taking the opportunity to re-connect with our surroundings and our loved ones. We can spend time reading books or listening to music. We can enjoy making a meal from scratch or take the opportunity to listen intently to the birds waking us each morning, for many of us we are no longer having to commute to work, as our office is now the kitchen table.
Getting outdoors is a simple and modest pleasure, a walk in the woods or the park, breathing in the fresh air with the knowledge that you return to your home your place of safety and comfort during this difficult and unpredictable time.
When so much is out of our control all we can do is manage our response to the situation, maybe now is the perfect time to embrace the concept of Coorie, a simple slower pace of life, appreciating what we have, the people we care about and recognising the important things in life and having gratitude for them every day.
So come on, come and ‘Coorie’ in.