Indoor gatherings cancelled. Restaurants and dining out were the saviors when the weather was nice. Travel and the idea of getting on a plane now scares me. Feeling depressed about these stats, and the impending winter months, I can’t help but long for the carefree summer months. Add to that, the loneliness that is creeping up. If we can’t gather safely, what will we do? I am going to look towards my neighbors in Scandinavia for help to see how they live year to year in the icy months. The Scandanavians are blanketed with some of the darkest coldest winters, yet consistently ranked as the happiest people in the world. How do we take lessons from them? Let’s get hygge with it.
Get Hygge With It
What is hygge? Hygge (pronounced ‘hoog-uh” is the feeling of coziness and contentment evoked by simple comforts, as being wrapped in a blanket, having good conversations, enjoying food, etc. And how does one embrace that feeling? Hygge is the art form of creating intimacy in any given moment. It is a social occasion for loved ones to get together to experience the comradeship, warmth and contentment of an event. It can also be enjoyed alone to calm the nerves and sooth the senses. Appreciating the small joys in life at all times, hygge followers have tapped into a source of happiness which the rest of the world can greatly benefit from in an ever-evolving technological society. This is all well and good, but during a pandemic it presents quite the challenge. I have been spending a lot of time reading, cooking, and hiking outdoors with friends. And rediscovering spirituality.
Here are things you can do to to embrace your Inner Norwegian
Invest in candles and blankets
Rumored as one of the largest consumers of candles in the world per capita, Denmark and other Scandinavian countries have embraced the power of the warming glow of candlelight. Think of it as a flickering escape from winter’s chill.
Get outside when you can
Appreciate the season
We are always rushing aren’t we? We always have somewhere to be and we are always thinking about the next thing we have to do whilst doing the thing before. To truly hygge you need to slow down a bit to take it all in, something I have learned a lot about lately. There will always be something else to think or worry about but this concept teaches you to take each moment as it is without rushing onto the next. Take the time to really enjoy the mug of coffee you have made, and the conversations with friends and family. Ensure daily stresses have melted away and definitely savor that slice of cake.
Take a bath
Take up a new hobby
What not to do
Don’t rush and don’t overdo. Hygge is never about extravagance, indulgence yes, but extravagance no. Whilst hygge is frequently associated with cosiness, it is a way of life which can be enjoyed all year round. For now, bring out your chunky knits and candles and settle in. It’s going to be a long winter.