Have you heard about Hygge yet? It’s a Danish word (pronounced hue-gah) apparently without translation, and describes bringing a coziness, warmth, companionable and peaceful atmosphere in your home, your social life and life in general. Well, that’s a kind of definition- it’s my humble attempt anyway. There are books and blogs and YouTube videos sprouting up trying to define Hygge but most agree it’s easier to live it than to define it.
How do you live it? Well for some it’s candles and cozy socks, wine and friends and a fireplace. For me it often is letting the sun in, feeding my sons lots of home cooked meals and desserts, reading to the youngest one in bed, and chatting on the phone about movies to my eldest, putting my pj’s on early and reading or watching a sitcom or an old movie, setting a friend up on the couch with a cup of tea and a cozy throw. I was living it, some of the time, without even knowing it. Maybe you are too.
If I think about, it I was mostly practising Hygge when I was consciously trying to be good to myself, when I was trying to create comfort and peace against hard times, but mostly my Hygge efforts would be applied to someone else rather than me. And now I think back, when I needed it most is when I let my Hygge efforts lapse, when times went from hard to very hard or even just to normal and busy.
Why is that so? Why do I say Hygge takes effort? It’s interesting because theoretically it takes little effort to light a candle, slip on a robe, run a bath or make a hot drink. I think the effort is in the thought process-that IF you set up a Hygge atmosphere or treat that you should STOP and ENJOY it. I think that’s what it is for me. I might think, ‘ugh I couldn’t be bothered making a cup of peppermint tea and setting some biscuits on a pretty plate’, but what I’m really probably thinking is ‘ if I make myself a treat or make myself feel cozy…I have to stop worrying for a while and find pleasure in the tea and biscuit, I have to commit to the Hygge without getting up to do one more thing, I have to be able to say ‘hey everyone and everything I’m off the clock for a bit, don’t disturb me because I’m very important and am treating myself’. Let me tell you, I would NEVER say that.
So I have only been truly Hygge when I have felt kind of tired and in need of comfort, but not when I’m very in need of comfort. I haven’t been practising Hygge ‘just because’ either, and that, I am willing to bet, is the true practise ideal- to be Hygge anytime, all the time, just because you like it. Wow, that might involve some self-love and self-care there! Maybe that’s why the Danish are some of the happiest people on the planet, hmm, Oprah I think I’m on to something…
So from all this Hygge-nalysis I can conclude that-
*Hygge is important to me and I feel better for it when I practise.
*Hygge involves mindfulness and don’t you know mindfulness cures EVERYTHING!
*Hygge is a natural craving of mine that I often don’t feel able to ‘indulge’ in.
*My sons and my friends like my Hygge ways and I love doing it for them.
*I want to want to Hygge just for me everyday. I want to feel deserving of it and the time it may take and the related expense (though it’s mostly minimal).
*The more I decide to mindfully Hygge the more I will Hygge and reap the rewards. The more I Hygge for myself the more my family will reap the rewards of a relaxed mum.
*I don’t need to live in Denmark to become one of the happiest people on the planet.
Do you Hygge and how? Do you let your thoughts and beliefs hold you back from regularly practising Hygge like me? Comment below with your tips and and problems and support. If you’d like to engage with me more on topics subscribe to this blog 😊