May 8, 2020

Give Yourself A Hygge

Hygge is a Danish word that we can do our best to understand in English. As the weather begins to temper, and our spending so much time indoors, hygge seems like an excellent philosophy to embrace.

It is a difficult concept to define – some say it is a lifestyle, a state of being, a verb even. Some of the symptoms of hygge would be presence, comfort, peace. The CEO of the Happiness Institute in Copenhagen, Meik Wiking, says, “The true essence of hygge is the pursuit of everyday happiness and it’s basically like a hug, just without the physical touch.”

And while hugs (aren’t we all missing those in isolation,) normally require two people – the concept of hygge allows you to experience a hug, from a place of contemplation and from the environment.

Everyone’s hygge might be different. For me, it involves lots of fluffy blankets and natural elements like timber, wool, cotton; it involves body nourishing items like tea or hot chocolate, fruit, and nuts; and soul nourishing things like books, sketch books and journals.

Hygge is immersion in a space and the deliberate effort it takes to create a space that is specifically constructed for the purpose of hygge. 

It might be a dedicated nook in the home that is a permanent sanctuary. A space to visit that transforms a hard day into a transcendent space for self-care, resetting and returning to centre. 

If you don’t have a specific place or enough space to create your permanent hygge space, remember hygge is a state of mind so there is a lot you can do to create a temporary space – it is just about really owning the moment and dedicating that time and place to experiencing the restorative function of a touchless, environmental hug. 

It could be that you add a pile of cushions and a tea tray to your made bed and curl up with a book for a few hours. Carving out both space and time to enjoy the activity. Then like a mandala, sweeping it away to return once more to a normal bed. 

Isolation is a perfect opportunity to explore hygge in your world and if like me, you are missing hugs and connection, it may just be the antidote until we can come together again.

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