When I learnt about hygge, the Danish concept of a cozy, comfortable, content mood, at least part of my thought it was a fad. And yet, here I am, still writing about it, years later.
Why? Because it’s something that comes to mind every year, as Summer becomes Autumn and Autumn becomes Winter.
It’s something that has completely changed my attitude towards this time of year.
For years, I came alive in Spring and Summer, positive and energised by the long, bright days, the sunshine. In Autumn and Winter, though, I’d experienced the opposite. My energy would deplete and my mood would sink. I was rarely present and would frequently find myself longing to return to those long, sunny days or bemoaning the fact that I didn’t live somewhere warmer and less wet than Britain.
Hygge changed all of this. Not so much in terms of my behaviour, but more so in my perception. It taught me that I could appreciate any weather or season; that I could find things to look forward to and be grateful for all year round.
Scented candles. Furry blankets. A hot cup of tea. The feel of your feet in a warm house, on a warm carpet, when you’re fresh from the bath. Onesies. The sound of rain on the roof. Time spent with loved ones inside, cooking, talking and eating lovely, wholesome food. Listening to vinyl records. Playing guitar. Mulled wine.
With so much still out of our control and the threat of further lockdowns being bandied about daily, there’s a good chance that Winter will be harder this year; that even Christmas won’t be or feel quite the same as it usually does.
That doesn’t mean however, that there’s no magic to be had, nothing to be grateful for.
Think on the activities that you can look forward to, even if you’re broke… even if you’re in lockdown… even if life feels like the equivalent of a cow pat right now. Consider the sights, sounds, smells, touches and tastes that you enjoy, as the seasons change. If you’re forced to change plans, envisage how you might share joy in alternative, creative ways.
Ultimately, we’re talking about a choice – to focus on what you don’t have or what you do; to listen to constructive thoughts more than destructive ones; to spend time in the present, or to throw it away by living in the potential future.