New year, new ways
What a klys – Cornish for cosy and snug – approach for the year ahead, and to those annual life-changing resolutions, looks like…
The New Year is upon us. The Christmas parties are over, and you may have overindulged in, well, just about everything. And with a New Year, comes the inevitable resolution making. As convention dictates, you might want to lose weight and get fitter. Perhaps you’d like to strike a better work/life balance. Maybe you just want to be happier? But what if, instead of focusing on those big, nebulous goals – which inevitably end up overtaken by events and unachieved by December – you adopted a klys approach to change?
Defined as snug or cosy, the Cornish word klys is all about making the most of the beautiful wilderness we have here, before sinking into the warmth and snugness of the indoors as the winter deepens around us. In other words, by making lots of small, tangible changes to your everyday – revolved around the concept of klys and in turn engendering feelings of contentment – you may actually reach those bigger goals as a happy by-product.
“Listening to an album from start to finish, to cooking a slow meal or simply watching the waves as they pummel the sand from the comfort of your window seat, these are all activities guaranteed to boost your wellbeing, physical and mental.”
“When I started feeling the drag of winter, I began to treat myself like a favoured child,” writes Katherine May in Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times. “I assumed my needs were reasonable and that my feelings were signals of something important. I kept myself well fed and made sure I was getting enough sleep. I took myself for walks in the fresh air and spent time doing things that soothed me. I asked myself: What is this winter all about? I asked myself: What change is coming?”
Keep making time to live slower this winter
Winter is cold, winter is dark. But perhaps it’s an opportunity to slow down; to meditate on the last year, to consider where the coming year will take you, and to focus on easily-achieved activities that restore rather than drain. Central to klys is the idea of experiencing the bracing, raw elements in the Cornish wilds, before retreating to a wood fire and a warming hot drink – your skin tingling and your soul full.
Step out of your front door and go for a rejuvenating walk by the sea (or if you want a rush of feel-good dopamine, and are well-prepared, a bracing dip). Instead of mindlessly scrolling through social feeds when you get inside, make a conscious effort to do something that doesn’t involve technology – or the, often bleak, news cycle.
“The feeling of klys needn’t be confined to solo activity – in fact, it’s a feeling amplified by sharing experiences with others, especially friends and family.”
From settling down in a comfortable chair to read a book by the fire or listening to an album from start to finish, to cooking a slow meal or simply watching the waves as they pummel the sand from the comfort of your window seat, these are all activities guaranteed to boost your wellbeing, physical and mental. Any time of year, but particularly now.
For klys times, make it friends and family time
The feeling of klys needn’t be confined to solo activity – in fact, it’s a feeling amplified by sharing experiences with others, especially friends and family. Think of it as an extension of the feel-good festive season gone by. While the winter weather can be harsh, these conditions make the vast expanse of a deserted beach outside – with friends and laughter and a couple of cosy hours spent in the pub after(with loved ones and locals alike) – all the more rewarding.
“Give yourself to winter and the pursuit of klys, and come springtime, you will find yourself fortified and energised for the seasons ahead.”
Choosing to adopt a klys way of living for winter means adapting to the cold season accordingly. Not being afraid of nature and the elements, but rather embracing them wholeheartedly and being open to how they can make you feel, how they can change you.
“In our relentlessly busy contemporary world, we are forever trying to defer the onset of winter,” writes May. “We don’t ever dare to feel its full bite, and we don’t dare show the way it ravages us. An occasional sharp wintering would do us good.”
Give yourself to winter and the pursuit of klys, and come springtime, you will find yourself fortified and energised for the seasons ahead. And maybe, just maybe, you’ll have unwittingly achieved those goals you normally set yourself every January.
Experience klys this January, in a beachside retreat where you can embrace the elements outdoors before getting cosy indoors. Browse our selection below.