Filled with ‘Meh’ when it’s dark by 4pm? Winter is the perfect time to connect with yourself and your inner stillness. Crisp, frosty mornings and long dark nights are a great opportunity to give yourself a warm glow inside by creating hygge. Pronounced hoo-ga and sometimes translated as a ‘Cosyness of the soul’. It’s all about cosy, calm contentment, simple pleasures and happiness. Just the thing for cold winter months. Here’s how to embrace your inner hygge.
Is it a coincidence that the Danish are the happiest folk on the planet? Nah, we don’t think so. They know what’s important. That’s where hygge comes in. But it’s not all about splashing out on Scandi design and cooking Danish style. Nope, hygge is something that you can connect with and create on the inside.
Take time out from tech.
With hygge you’re getting down to basics. Ditch the tech and create calm for your soul. This is about stopping to smell the coffee (or hot chocolate with marshmallows) rather than concerning yourself with what’s going on outside. Think digital wellbeing and create tech free time to enjoy the small, everyday things in life.
Light a candle, snuggle up and grab a journal to reflect on what the year has meant to you. Give yourself free reign to write down your reflections. What has the year been like for you? How do you want to celebrate it? Is there something that you’d like to change or do differently. Journalling is a great vehicle to work through your emotions, increasing your wellbeing at the same time. Use it to reflect on what you’ve achieved and where you want to go next.
We love that hygge finds beauty in the smallest of things from a soft, cosy pair of socks to a steaming herbal tea in your favourite mug. What are you grateful for? Savour and drink in simple pleasures. The sound of the rain falling against your window, a beautiful piece of music, hot buttered toast or time with loved ones. Notice the gratitude and hold that feeling of for as long as you can. If you can turn this into a daily activity with a gratitude journal, even better. Research shows you’ll be happier for it.
Keep a favourite item that you can take out when you need to enjoy some calm.
Ok, so this one is personal. For me, it’s a mani stone I brought back from working in Tibet. I like the way the smooth surface feels against my skin as I turn it over in the palm of my hand. The sensation of ‘Om mani padme hum’ carved into the cool stone is a reminder of the Buddhist mantra if I need it. What do you love? What makes you feel content and peaceful? Your item might be a photo, a cosy scarf, aromatherapy oil that reminds you of somewhere else, a special momento or favourite sweater. Anything that makes you feel good when you need a little extra va va voom on a grey day.
When you embrace your inner hygge you’re working from the inside out so it makes sense to nourish your mind. The restorative practice of mindfulness is really about making space to meet yourself – exactly where you are with no expectations. Slow down and notice what is around you. When you’re creating hyggelig moments, bring your awareness to them. Watch, taste, feel, smell and enjoy. Now you’re embracing your inner hygge.
Want to know more about hygge, wellness or mindfulness? Take a look at our huge range of free resources. We also run international mindfulness courses, mindfulness at work training as well as wellbeing and resilience training programmes. Get in touch, we’d love to hear from you.