Ok, so perhaps the title to this article is a bit misleading.
I have been taking a look into Hygge over the week. Seems to be one of those “fashionable” buzz words right now with people referring to the Danish practice A LOT!
But, what’s it all about?
To me Hygge seems to be more a way of life than a habit.
I read “The Little Book of Hygge – The Danish Way to Life Well” by Meik Wiking at the weekend. Although it seems to be at pains to point out that it’s about cosiness or comfort or gratitude or mindfulness it seems to me to encompass all those concepts in one word. For me, the word that stands out that seems completely dismissed is cosiness. That feeling. Hygge could be summed up as cosiness for me. Cosiness within your surroundings, cosiness in how you are using your spare time to nourish you, cosiness in the foods that you are eating and the people you are surrounding yourself with.
I kinda like the concept BUT think that we need to look to achieve more Hygge in order everyday lives and make it a habit rather than simply seeking out moments of Hygge.
There seems to be a few key things that encompass and empower Hygge;
Candles – check! I am a big fan of lighting candles and incense on an evening when the children have gone to bed. My hubby and I do this without even thinking.
Banishing The BIG Light – as a girl from the North of England the BIG Light is actually a thing! It’s the main light in your living space usually, the one that totally lights the room. The one that you might put on if you need a little more clarity in your lighting. Banishing the big light and having more cosy lighting to relax in is absolutely the way to go. Again, I can check this one off the list. If I’m working in my office then it’s often the case that I am working with just my desk lamp on (unless I’m recording) and on an evening when those candles are lite the big light is also banished in favour of a small lamp to light our room.
Little Nooks To Nourish You – these are little areas where you can snuggle up and have a brew, read a book, or just sit and chat. It’s effectively your favourite chair or favourite position. I have a little nook in my kitchen, by the window and by the radiator where I can snuggle up and read or write. I also have a little position in the living room that I like to spend my time snuggled in.
Tactile Stuff – whether it be blankets, wooly socks, slippers, jumpers or scarves we are talking about being enveloped in lovely textures. Yup, I’m loving that one too.
Reading – BIG fan #enoughsaid
Warm Drinks – yep, I agree, warm drinks can soothe your soul. There’s nothing like your hands around a warm cup of your favourite cuppa.
Company – spend your time with people who nourish you, who you feel totally comfortable with, who you can be yourself around, let your guard down and who leave you feeling warm on the inside. I’m going to pop a caveat on that one. Introverts can still do this, it might be your own company, it might be in small, managable doses, it might be your nearest and dearest but spending time WITH people (not on tech and in the same company – but doing stuff together) can absolutely help you fill your cup.
Stuff With Significance – having things around you that are anchored into memories. It’s amazing when you surround yourself with things with stories and not just things. Things that remind you of amazing experiences, times spent or emotions is the priority rather than consumerism – apparently the more it cost the less Hygge it is. I love to surround myself with stuff that means things to me. Presents I have received, things we have collected, stuff that ties back to something much greater.
Appreciation – good old gratitude. Seeing even the littlest lovely moments as a reason to be grateful. Those little moments that mean a lot but taking the time to recognise their magnitude. When you make a habit of seeking out things to be grateful for more things to be grateful for come your way.
Slowing Down – I suppose that goes hand in hand with the appreciation because it allows you that space to see the small stuff, to look after yourself and recharge your batteries.
Time Away From Tech – whilst not directly covered in a big way in the book I read I think it’s a kinda goes without saying one. Why? Because you can’t truly be present in the moment and enjoy the peace, tranquility or downtime if you are attached to tech (mentally or physically). Putting the phone down and turning off the internet can absolutely help you fill your cup.
Make Stuff – cook from scratch, make some jam, craft, make memories – whatever it is use your creativity to lift you up.
Cosy Food – there’s an emphasis on cakes and chocolate in the book on this one but that’s kinda not really my thing. For me I feel cosy with mash potato, mince & gravy, stew, soup – those wholesome, winter warmer, kinda anchors to home tastes.
It’s all directed to comfort for me. Being present and being comfortable (like really comfortable) and YES, I kinda love it. It does encompass lots of things that I do in my life on a day to day basis anyway so I suppose it’s nice to have a level of reinforcement that that stuff is good stuff BUT it’s also a fab reminder that whilst our work is SUPER important so are the little things and we definitely can’t give if we empty our tanks.
- Look after you
- Enjoy the small stuff
- Embrace the day
- Take every opportunity to find a relaxing place (and you can even work in these places too!)
- Love A LOT
- Be with people who lift you higher
- Slow Down
- Light a Candle
- AND Grab a Brew!