Inviting Hygge Into Your Life
This winter I’ve been craving a sense of deeper peace and inner calm. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the stress and holiday rush this time of year. While at times it hasn’t been easy, I’ve become more intentional about finding time each day to ground into my body and connect with my breath. I also recently picked up a book about Hygge, which I’ve always been curious to learn more about. It’s so important that we learn to give ourselves permission to slow down and to feel good.
The book that I picked up is called “The Little Book of Hygge” by Meik Wiking. It talks about how Hygge – the art of coziness, intimacy, and pleasure – is built into every aspect of Danish life, which essentially helps the Danes mentally and emotionally weather long, dark winters and brings a sense of warmth and coziness to their rituals and daily living all year round. The word Hygge might actually originate from the word “hug.” I’ve wanted to bring more of the concept of Hygge (pronounced “Hoo-ga”) into my own life this winter, and I’d like to continue it throughout the year.
Hot drinks (especially coffee), candles, soft lighting, nature, music, homemade items, books, yummy food, and small gatherings are some of the main things associated with Hyyge. This works out beautifully for those of us who are introverts! I’ve always preferred hanging out with a few close friends for soulful conversations rather than a large gathering of people where I feel pressured to make small talk. True connection with those we trust is essential to our happiness. Sometimes we also forget how the simplicity of picking up an actual book, instead of reading on a screen, and experiencing the smell and feel of the pages, can bring us deeper into the experience and relieve us from the noise and distractions of the world.
I’m not one for resolutions around the New Year, but one of my intentions is to return more frequently to the simple things that can help ease anxiety, and small practices that remind me that I’m safe. And hygge is about feeling safe and happy. It’s about more simplicity and slower living. It can look like taking nature walks, creating a mini library in your home, playing board games, having a movie night, savoring a hot drink, making your favorite recipe, or bundling up and watching the night sky. If your nervous system has been in need of some extra love and relaxation, perhaps you may want to consider bringing a little more Hygge into your life. I also see these practices and cultivation of well-being as a salve for anyone in the process of healing, and a gentle way to nourish a grieving heart. I invite you to join me in welcoming more hygge into your life this year.