Hygge (/ˈhjuːɡə/ HEW-gə or /ˈhuːɡə/ HOO-gə) I
There are a bunch of definitions for this new fad that's been all over everywhere recently; blog posts, facebook, pinterest, people are even writing books about it, multiple books about it! It's a word that originates from Danish Culture and is seen as more of a lifestyle or a way of living that embodies cosiness and comfort that breeds a sense of positive well-being. Now this doesn't sound at all bad to me, but this post is much less about this peculiar term and the way it's gripped the nation and more about adopting a kind of lifestyle that focuses itself on self-care, especially in winter.
Many blog posts entail the ways in which you can replicate hygge in your home or within your lifestyle and for the most part these are good ideas: lighting candles, reading by a fire, staying off your mobile phone, having a bath, doing activities with friends, wearing sweatpants and living in blankets.
However, there's also a level of activity and productivity that will positively improve your well-being that hygge doesn't really focus on. So here are some tips for living a lifestyle that will improve your well-being, both inspired by hygge and not.
1. Focus on the little things
Now this is part of hygge. You should treat yourself to your favourite warm drink or comforting food or actually spend some time listening to an album you really like. You could find your favourite book and start reading it again or take time to water all your plants. There are lots of small tasks you can do that make you feel productive, bring you back to the finer details of life, and help you focus on things that are important to you.
2. Make your living space your sanctuary
This is also part of hygge. Light candles, invest in good throws, blankets and pillows, hang fairy lights. You should surround yourself with things that make you feel at home, comforted and calm.
3. Don't rush, but be productive
Now the not rushing thing is a big part of being hygge, but possibly to such an extreme extent that I would add to this suggestion. You shouldn't rush, but you should be productive. Of course, don't shock yourself by waking up at 5am and going for a run in the bitter cold. No, that's not necessarily the best idea. If you want to live a hygge lifestlye you should let yourself warm up to activities, warm up to the day, but don't put things off. Don't procrastinate and be unproductive. Make a plan and do your best to stick to it, but take care with each activity and event you do, to invest yourself fully and get satisfaction out of it.
You should take your time and try not to out-do yourself, especially when you're feeling more vulnerable and struggling with the cold and dark, but you should never let yourself spend all day in trackpants, surrounded by blankets and netflix in bed.
Sometimes self-care takes hard work and you should fill your days with at least a couple of productive things. One morning activity and one afternoon activity is a good place to start, and try to make one of those active or outside like going to the gym or going for a walk with friends.
4. Take up new hobbies or revisit old ones
This is certainly something that this lifestyle recommends and something that I agree with completely. Picking up new hobbies and revisiting old ones is a great way to feel more productive and more connected with yourself. There are plenty of lists out there of new hobbies to try, maybe painting, writing, a new sport or candle making! Anything is on the table.
5. Food ~ eat wholesomely
Now hygge would suggest comfort foods but I would not. At least not often. Those hot chocolates and mash potato dinners might be tasty but won't help you feel energised. Try reach for wholesome foods, hearty root vegetables, and stews. You should aim to get lots of vitamins and minerals in you to make yourself feel better! In the winter try exchange salads for hot soups or stews to warm you up! Also share food with friends and family to make it an experience.
6. Find comfort in what you wear
Last but not least, enjoy what you wear. This doesn't need to be trackpants all day but it can be. Reach for materials that comfort you, that are soft and not restrictive, but make an effort to get dressed and wear things you enjoy. This way you will feel more confident and better about your day!
There are some things about this lifestyle that are incredible, but I definitely give it a good tweak to fit into my aim to be super productive this year! Remember to take everything in moderation, including self care, which doesn't always mean baths and naps, but sometimes self care requires a bit of hard work to get yourself feeling your best x