It’s been a tough week to be American. The list of orders signed by our new President strikes out against refugees, immigrants, science, public broadcasting, women, arts, humanities, minority owned businesses, economic development, free trade, community organized policing, civil rights, the environment, the national parks and so much more. It’s easy to feel discouraged and to lose hope. I’ve been donating to organizations that support women’s and human rights and calling/emailing my representatives. I’ve also been doing a lot of looking at cute kid and animal pictures on Instagram and reading uplifting blog posts.
Judith started writing “I Love Lists” to make herself feel better. One of her loves this week was something I’ve been reading a lot about, the Danish concept of hygge (hoo-gah). What is hygge? The New Yorker’s Culture Desk called 2016 “The Year of Hygge, the Danish Obsession with Getting Cozy”
“The Oxford Dictionaries’ 2016 “word of the year” shortlist was heavy on neologisms that one wishes didn’t have to exist: “alt-right,” “Brexiteer,” and this year’s winning term, “post-truth.” Among the finalists, though, there was one bit of solace: “hygge,” a Danish term defined as “a quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being.” Pronounced “hoo-guh,” the word is said to have no direct translation in English, though “cozy” comes close. It derives from a sixteenth-century Norwegian term, hugga, meaning “to comfort” or “to console,” which is related to the English word “hug.””
Many marketers (especially in the UK and Europe) have been capitalizing on the interest in hygge. Some experts in Danish culture think that a focus on hygge can help people to feel more content and in control in these trying times (source). I’m all for this!
How can you live more hygge? Here are 10 Ways to Master the Danish Art of Hygge in Your Home from Mental Floss. The Little Book of Hygge offers advice and ideas on incorporating it into your life:
- “Get comfy. Take a break.”
- “Be here now. Turn off the phones.”
- “Turn down the lights. Bring out the candles.”
- “Build relationships. Spend time with your tribe.”
- “Live life today, like there is no coffee tomorrow.”
Moving forward, I’m planning to collect favorites and thing that make me smile. Don’t worry, I’ll share them. In the mean time, I will seek things out at savor the comforts I already have like the wonderful view from my window.
How will you embrace your simple comforts? Please share your ideas in the comments.
PS. Don’t forget my great giveaways!