as winnie the pooh would say, you don't spell it, you feel it. it is comfort, feeling, happiness, cozy, calm... it is the absence from what some may describe as annoyance. it is a state of living well.
not so unique to its origin
I read a book specifically on Hygge this week, it's literally called "The Little Book of Hygge - The Danish Way to Live Well". Not many people know but my mom's father (Morfar - Danish for Mother's Father), immigrated from Denmark when he was 17. He's the one I can thank for my natural blonde hair and weird eyes (I don't know if they're considered grey or blue or green, who knows, I just see with them). Apart from physical appearances, he also brought along a very special heritage when he came to Canada, something that not many people get to experience on the daily.
A few years ago, I heard this saying that Danish people are considered the happiest people on earth, and I wondered why. The more I looked into it, the less it became about the fact that their education is paid for, the more it became about the fact that they prioritize family and self-comfort, just two examples of what truly makes Danish people, the happiest people on earth.
The question I began to ask myself is why is it that it is so unique to Denmark? It's actually not, the only drawback is that Hygge does not directly translate into anything specific in the English language. We can all relate to what it is though.
Think of the times that you throw on your favourite cozy socks, you make yourself a decadent cup of tea, you turn on your favourite lamp or dim the lights, you throw on your favorite music, you snuggle up next to a loved one, you light a few candles to set the mood...
Wait, set the mood for what?
Why do we light candles anyway?
They're a feel good thing. They bring instant warmth and comfort to our souls, which is why some people light two, three, sometimes more candles every day to bring themselves down to earth.
You get the idea. All of these are perfect examples of what hygge really is. I'm more than confident that you can all come up with great examples of your own, but what I'm getting at is how important it is.
a holiday vibe, but all year round
You know that feeling you get around the holidays, where you're all cozy with your family members or on your own just being the spirit of Christmas... that's so hygge. This exact same act can be practiced on the daily, whether it's on your own or with a pile of people. Hygge is for everyone, and can be practiced as little or as much as you'd like. Hey, if you want to have a whole day of hygge, have at it. Your hygge is unique to you.
My personal favorite way to hygge is to put my pyjamas on, light a candle, drink my favourite tea and shove my cold feet under my mom's legs (she thinks it's as wonderful as it sounds too, right ma?), and just be in the moment. We may not do this all the time, but when we do, we do it the same way every time.
In fact, if I can recall, doing it that exact way (minus the tea because 'tea is for old ladies') even as a kid. Spending those little moments with my mom were very precious to me as she worked a lot when I was growing up - but you better believe that I looked forward to it. One of my favourite things to do with my mom growing up is to play with her hair. My mom, like me, is also blonde with a ton of hair. I'd grab my favourite hairbrush and, like, a hundred colourful scrunchies and I would make it my duty to get each and every one of those little scrunchies on her head. It was beautiful.
It also felt wonderful when she had to take them all out after I was done.
We still do this, but I braid her hair instead of put ponytails in it.
Ahh, childhood nostalgia.
Slow down, embrace your hygge
Take time for you, take time to recognize that you are a living, breathing life form that requires time to rest, relax and regenerate. Whether you do this in the morning, at night, or dedicate a whole day or a week to do it, the importance of it is substantial to our overall health and well-being.
The fact is that we actually don't know this until we actually experience a moment in it.
That sense of comfort, homey-ness, calm and happiness... we all have the ability to create this for ourselves and others. You can even carry it with you in your presence. It's up to you on how you choose to embrace hygge in your life, and I believe that it is completely possible. We are all unique and have our own sense of pride when it comes to displaying how we do it, if we choose to show it at all.
The choice is yours.
Now sit back, relax, and enjoy the hygge, the good life.
Providing you with the knowledge that I encounter on a daily basis through my fitness lifestyle.