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Category Archives: sometimes wellbeing
The Danish concept of Hygge is a relatively new one for me. I was gifted a book about it in 2016 and it left storage late 2017 to be studied by yours truly. The irony is that I wanted to curl up with a book and take some chill time and that’s part of what Hygge is about. This time was to be cosy, in front of the fire and with a hot cup of tea – enjoying the simple things in life, cultivating the most from my environment and being cosy.
In 2018, it’s fair to say that we, as a human race have lots going on. There’s technology, busy work days, friends, family and so much more. Those are just the basics not including gym and studies for some. How often do we get to truly enjoy the simple things in life?
Hygge promotes a cosy and warm lifestyle based on Danish culture. It is derived from the word ‘ wellbeing’ which is Norwegian. Some also refer to it as the art of practicing intimacy. It can be alone or with friends and can compose of a variety of activities or lack thereof. The idea is that there is warmth, togetherness and an appreciation of the simple things in life – back to basics, as my mother would say.
Which brings me to what Hygge is not. It is not spending hours on the phone, social media or Netflix. Nor is it getting tipsy on a bottle of wine while slaving over your laptop.
There are loads of ways to bring Hygge into the home.
Number one is to declutter. A house must be lived in but filling it with items that are unused and unloved makes for poor energy and at times, negative energy. Things are distracting and can take away from achieving Hygge. What do you currently have in your home that you don’t use or love?
Taking comfort in the home is number two. How much comfort do you feel in your home? What could add to that comfort? For me, it’s blankets, having the fire on when it’s cold, candles and relaxing scents.
Being aware of what room is for what and sticking to it creates clear boundaries in the home. I don’t eat in my bedroom, I prefer to not have a television in my bedroom (and probably never will) and the kitchen is for eating with some work at the kitchen table. The living room is where I spend the most waking hours so I find it affects my energy the most. What do your rooms mean to you?
What are the simple things that make you happy? What gives you a sense of belonging? Hygge can be something as simple as sitting on the porch with a lemonade on a hot Summer’s day or visiting a friend after work for a cup of tea. It’s about connection and belonging to others as much as the self.
The feelings of Hygger we can feel certainly explain why Danes (the creators of Hygge) are amongst the happiest people in the world. No matter what nation or culture we stem from, it’s something that we can encompass in our day to day lives.
Other simple pleasures that work for me (to experience Hygge) are sitting and catching up with my boyfriend after work (minus technology), spending time with a friend having a walk or hike and crafting with my loved ones.
Have a think about it. What could Hygge mean to you? What elements of Hygge do you think you could add to your life?
Share your thoughts below.
Some give it a name, others tend to pretend it isn’t there. Meanwhile, I prefer to be constantly aware. If you don’t acknowledge what’s happening, how can you deal with it? We all look for support. This can be from family, friends or work colleagues. How about ourselves?
Sarah Doyle recently launched a book called ‘Be your own best friend’. This short interactive journal encourages self-love and acceptance. It involves focusing on self-support rather than self-deprecation. Activities in the book encourage celebrating wins and successes and what seems like, combatting the inner critic.
In the book, ‘The inner game of tennis’, author Timothy Galwey addresses the relationship with the self. Internally, there’s a voice that we engage with and which influences who we are, what we do and most significantly, how we view ourselves. They say that mastering the relationship with the self is the most relevant of all. If you don’t love yourself, how do you expect someone else to love you?
That niggle that pops up when you’re exercising and thinking, I’ll quit. That’s the inner critic. The one that tells you you’re not good enough when you so clearly are, that’s the inner critic. When there are positives about yourself and your performance in any given situation and yet, there’s a voice from inside picking out the negatives – yes, that’s him/her again. They say that your own thoughts are what influence your life so why put up with the negative ones?
When flicking that proverbial negative angel off your shoulder, here are some ways that can help you get on track and feeling more positives overall.
*Don’t hate on it. Just like scrubbing a sore wound won’t make it better, neither will berating your inner critic. Be sound, understanding and have a gentle influence on it. Start by sharing three successes with yourself if a negative thought pops up.
*Remember where you started. Things change and maybe you’ve come a long way. There are going to be days where we’re harder on ourselves than others. Give yourself a break every now and then!
*Be aware – this all comes from you. No matter what, you have the power. If you’re not happy with your internal thoughts, then change them. That starts with loving yourself and celebrating your successes. After that, it’s about acceptance. Here’s my list of books that might be helpful.
*Use physical reminders. Stick up quotes around your apartment, listen to the relevant Podcasts (Try Model Health Show or Oprah) and journal. It could be a blank book or a specific self-focused journal. In any event, recording your thoughts and positives in a particular place will help encourage your self love and acceptance.
Support yourself first.
We’re indoors. It’s been approximately 12 hours since we’ve driven the car anywhere and Andrew is nicely intact outside. Andrew is our snowman you see. He is approximately 5ft 5″, pale with a big head and great dress sense. He’s a great example of how, when it snows so much your flight gets cancelled, you use that snow to avoid turning to feeling overly disappointed. Keeping the mind busy is vital especially if it involves creating something on a decent scale.
I was supposed to head to Budapest tonight at 19.30 from Dublin Airport. It was a long awaited treat with lots of planning gone in and my case already half packed due to the sheer excitement. I had the notion of going swimming outdoors in the thermals on a few occasions and staying in a fancy hotel room. Meanwhile, I’d be spending time with a great friend and reflecting on why life is so great and saying “Isn’t it lovely that we can get flights and trips so cheap and easily in 2018?”. Sure you can’t stop the weather.
When things didn’t go as planned, my mother would always quote my late grandfather (who clearly quoted another guy) ” Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference”. That’s life you see. There’s always going to be something around the corner that doesn’t work out. Not to be a pessimist but flights will get cancelled, challenges will occur and something you’ve built up in your head and elsewhere will not come into fruition. It sucks but well, there’s always something else around to look forward to.
I’m using my free time to get blogging done (overdue blogging I might add), I’m planning some trips for the Summer and I’m having lots of downtime to chill and reflect on weeks gone by and, what’s to come.
And of course, there’s Andrew.
If you’re stuck indoors this week or stuck in a disappointing twist in your life. There’s a few things you can do to turn it around and hopefully, feel better.
*Plan something else! When do you next have some free time? What have you been thinking about for ages and not planned or booked? Do it! Life’s short. I’ve just looked up flights for my Summer trip in July.
*Write a list of the positives to come from the situation. Did you save some cash by not partaking in a certain adventure? Has this time allowed you to achieve something you’ve been procrastinating? What goodness has come from it?
*What does this mean to you? Having a twist or turn in your day, week or life can evoke certain feelings. This can teach us something about the path we’re on and what we’d like to achieve in the future. For me, I feel disappointed that I didn’t get to travel today as I love visiting other places and don’t enjoy being stagnant for too long. What have you learned?
*Life can be a bit unfair and certain situations will remind us of that. You never know what’s around the corner. Make the most of the current moment and think of how lucky we are to have it.
Mind yourselves wherever you are.