There is a sentence that keep coming back to me; when you focus on the good, the good gets better. Because in a year like this, we need all the positivity we can get.

When I left Norway on the 1st of January to go back to Italy after spending Christmas at home, I would have never imagined how 2020 would turn out – as I’m sure none of us did. 

I have been thinking a lot lately about how different life is now. Everything from limited social interactions, missing loved ones, lack of work opportunities, worrying about the pandemic and wearing masks. It is easy to get stuck in a negative mindset and think about all those things that are making us worried, annoyed or sad… and it ends up being a viscous circle of negativity. But I am trying my best to focus on the good and make this strange situation the best it can be, because that is the one thing I can control right now. So instead of thinking about how much I miss home and that I probably won’t see my family or friends there at all this year, I choose to think about all the things that are bringing me joy: a hug from Bowie (because hugs are rare right now), the fact that I am allowed to have a walk outdoors and enjoy the beautiful autumn colours, that my loved ones are healthy, a warm mug of coffee, cozy evenings at home binge-watching tv shows with my fiancé and all my virtual friends (you!) who I can chat with. 

So if you are struggling too, remember to focus on those good things – whether big or small. Because when you focus on the good, the good does get better!

And if you are now in a new lockdown or simply need some encouraging words to get through these challenging times, make sure you go back and read my previous posts where I shared the positive things I discovered in lockdown or my tips for how to make the coronavirus lockdown situation better with hygge and a positive mindset. (I’ve had a look back on both these posts myself as a little reminder.)

This time I want to write about a few things I am excited about, things that might also help you to shift your focus on the good and forget about the bad.

Things I look forward to this autumn & winter:

  • Slowing down and watching the season change. I love when summer turn into autumn, the colours and the fresh air brings happiness and hope which are both feelings we need to hold onto this year. At the same time, I love watching autumn turn into winter – it is a nice reminder that even though this year has been difficult for us all it will at one point end. Not to say that 2021 will start and everything will be back to normal, but I do hope that next year will bring a much needed positive change in many ways.
  • Having a reason to stay inside and enjoy hygge moments. For me, summer was a weird time because the weather was lovely and I wanted to stay outside and live a ‘normal life’ as much as possible, but the worry was present at every moment. I ended up feeling almost guilty for staying inside when the sun was shining, or not taking advantage of every sunny day. When autumn arrived, it was almost a relief because it meant that my guilt for staying more inside disappeared and I felt more OK with getting cozy at home. Don’t get me wrong, I love going for walks and feeling the fresh air but I do not feel the need to go shopping, have a meal at a restaurant or be somewhere crowded right now. I am so happy with just being at home, and look forward to many hygge moments with my finance and out dog.
  • More cooking and baking (+ eating). To me, autumn means lots of time spent in the kitchen whether that means filling the home with the most amazing smell from baking or enjoying delicious comfort food. I am looking forward to more cinnamon buns, more homemade pizza (because my fiancé is turning into such a pro), fish soup, roasted chestnuts, homemade bread, pasta… the list goes on and on!
  • Bingewatching tv. There is nothing better than being deep in a tv series you absolutely love! It can be a great way to escape reality for a bit and live through the characters. We have been watching so many great ones this year (I am thinking about doing a post about my top series to bingewatch if you are interested?), and I still have a list of lots more I want to watch. With so many new series coming out, new seasons of favourites or old classics, there are so many things to look forward to.
  • Rediscovering creative hobbies. Dark autumn and winter days spent at home is the perfect time to focus more on your hobbies. I recently decided that I want to get back into art, because if you didn’t know I actually have a degree in graphic, art & design. I used to love to draw, paint and make things but these days I have neglected that more and instead use my phone and computer way too much. So I am going back to basic, and look forward to rediscover my creative passion though art and DIY. Because it is a great way to find calm.
  • Cozy Christmas traditions. Christmas is a magical time of year, and even though many things will be different this year we can still hold onto those special traditions that helps make the season more cozy. I always look forward to getting the Christmas tree and decorations out for instance, or lighting the advent candle each Sunday as a time to reflect. There are so many little ways to make this time cozy whether it is making hot chocolate, playing a festive game or watching your favourite Christmas film. I recently did a post with the best advent calendars for Christmas hygge, which is one of those traditions I think will help bring lots of joy to many this year.
  • A different Christmas. There is no denying that this year will be very different, and at the moment no-one knows how it will be. I am brazing myself for the “worst” scenario, because with the rising numbers we might be back in a new lockdown or have very limited rules on what we are allowed to do. Traveling seems out of the question, so I will most likely have my first Christmas in Italy – but even though  do miss my family I am also quite excited to have a different Christmas and make it my own. I look forward to the first Christmas where I wake up in our apartment, making new traditions together as a couple that can reflect both our backgrounds (since he is Italian and I am Norwegian. It will for sure be one to remember, and we have to remember that different doesn’t always mean bad.

What things are you looking forward to this autumn and winter?

// Photo credit: Ingrid Opstad

Ingrid Opstad

That Scandinavian feeling is a blog by Ingrid Opstad, a Norwegian journalist living in Italy. Ingrid wants her blog to represent the feeling of coziness and calm with a Nordic simplistic, minimalistic style. The blog is intended to share her knowledge and love for Scandinavia; touching upon everything from interiors, design, lifestyle, travel to hygge. A place where you can get inspired to find that Scandinavian feeling yourself, no matter where in the world you are.



  1. Reply


    October 24, 2020

    Thank you Ingrid for sharing such wonderful thoughts, and much needed positivity in these uncertain times. It is so easy to lose sight of the special things around us, and I look forward to seeing your posts and feel full of inspiration. Let’s keep focussing on the good :)

    • Reply

      Ingrid Opstad

      October 28, 2020

      So happy you liked the post Kirsten, and I will continue to share more positive vibes :)

  2. Reply

    Jennifer Trainor

    October 30, 2020

    Pausing today as an early snow falls in Connecticut, USA, to catch up on some reading and your blog was my first stop! I’m in a warm sweatshirt and propped up in my bed with a cozy blanket, so I can watch the snow falling outside. My dog, Fen, is curled up next to me. I’m so inspired by you! What you write about is very similar to how I try to live my life, focusing on simple pleasures and staying positive. It’s quite a challenge these days. I need more of you in my days to keep me grounded and reminded. I’m worried that next week’s election in the States is going to bring about only more uncertainty, negativity, and unrest for so many. I hope that in spite of it all, many are still able to find, and create, hygge and koselig in their lives. Thank you for all of your suggestions! You’ve been a great source of comfort and instrumental in my self-care practice!