As the air turns cool my inspiration for this LifeLine comes from the Danish concept of ‘Hygge‘. Pronounced ‘Hoo- guh’ it is a Scandinavian concept that encompasses cosiness and little pleasures. It is a feeling of contentment.
Firstly let me say that Hygge is more of a feeling than a thing. For instance, it is the smell of fresh bread in a bakery. Or the warmth that comes from a mug of hot chocolate nestled in your hands. It is the scent of beeswax candles burning and the feel of shearling slippers on your feet. It is how the Danish make the most of the cold days and long nights of winter that stretch across their land.
The Danish are said to be the happiest people in the world. They have a ministry for happiness! Perhaps we can all learn something from the idea of hygge. It transforms what could be seen as a time of isolation, contraction and cold into something uniquely indulgent and treasured. To my mind, that is nothing short of genius.
Three Tips For Introducing ‘Hygge’ Into Your Life:
- What simple pleasures come to your mind when you think of comfort and cosiness? Warm socks, bubbling cheese on toast, a rug tossed over your lap? How about an aromatic oil with the scent of pine needles or cedar? Spoil yourself with these little indulgences and notice how it rubs off on your overall level of happiness.
- Design a weekend of healthy simplicity. Check out this link for some inspiration. I love the idea that we can create an extended weekend for ourselves and consciously fill it with things that make us happy. You don’t need to get away; it is all within reach.
- The idea of ‘hygge’ can be applied to a mindset too. I have found it wonderfully soothing and calming to take 10 minutes out of my day to do this guided meditation from Andy Puddicombe at Headspace. Tip: rub a little of your favourite aromatic oil onto your pulse points for added relaxation. My current favourite – sweet orange blossom.