Did you know that hygge is not just for winter?
In Denmark, hygge is a year-round practice and it’s not improbable that it contributes to their enviable levels of happiness and wellbeing.
More than candles, hot drinks and cosy throws, hygge is about a way of being…being present, being grateful. Slowing down and appreciating the simple things in life.
Amidst all the fear and uncertainty that we’re all dealing with at the moment, many of us also have this gift – the opportunity to slow down and appreciate the simple things.
We can appreciate our own health and that of our loved ones if we are all remaining well so far. I don’t think anyone is taking that for granted right now.
We can appreciate our homes and take the time to show them some love by cleaning, decluttering and organising them. They don’t need to be insta-worthy show homes to feel like true sanctuaries.
We can create some rituals to support our wellbeing, in whatever ways we feel are good, and manageable, for us right now.
Rituals are an integral part of hygge. And these can be very simple. As simple as brewing a morning cuppa and taking the time to sit and sip it, mindfully enjoying every drop rather than multi-tasking while we gulp it down.
What would be a good – and workable within your own constraints – morning ritual that you could practice now to set you up physically, mentally and emotionally for the rest of the day?
Some form of movement would be extremely supportive, if you are physically able. And there’s an abundance of yoga, pilates and fitness instructors offering their classes online right now. And many are doing so free of charge.
As a meditation teacher, I’m always recommending building this practice in to our morning routines, even if it’s just for a few minutes.
And another great way to set yourself up for the day is to write “Morning Pages”. This practice takes about ten to fifteen minutes, and involves free-writing without any premeditation or censorship. Just write continuously whatever pops into your head, for three pages.
Effectively this is a brain-dump and it helps to clear our minds of whatever might be clogging them up, leaving us sharper and more focussed when we move into our daily activities.
And then, of course, we can also embrace the Instagram-depicted elements of hygge. The cosy throws, the fires (if it’s still cold where you are), the candles, the hot drinks. Scatter these feel-good touches throughout your day and savour them as delightful treats.
Another important aspect of hygge is connection with loved ones. I think most people are already doing this on an uplevelled scale right now. We may be physically separated, but connection via social media and online technology is going through the roof. No longer taking chats with family and friends for granted, we seem to have embraced en-masse an appreciation for the simple ability to check-in with people. And the appreciation amplifies the benefit of this contact.
Hygge is about being appreciative of what’s good in the moment, and making the moment as good as it can be. And we seem to be making great strides in this, in between our bouts of worry and sadness.
The worry and sadness are natural emotions and not to be suppressed. When we allow ourselves to feel them fully, they pass more quickly than when we try to deny them.
And once they have passed we can go back to finding a way to make the most of this time. Wishing you a hyggeligt lockdown.
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