CHANGING THE NARRATIVE
It’s been an interesting year, to say the least. Between lockdowns, virtual schooling, tragic happenings, and uncertain futures, chaos is closer to our “normal” than we’d like it to be. But what if I told you there’s a simple way to finish this year on a good note? What if I told you these last few months of 2020 could be beautiful, warm, and welcomed?
The thought of a cold winter filled my mind with fear. For weeks, I couldn’t imagine having a positive spirit, much less living a positive life while being stuck inside for another two months. Then I stopped in my tracks.
“Change the narrative, Margaret,” I said to myself.
So I tried again. How can I make these next couple of months sweet, cozy, and even special for my family and me? Hygge. That’s how— ever heard of that word? No? Let me fill you in; it’s changed my life.
Hygge, pronounced “hoo-ugh,” is a Danish term that encompasses the feeling of warmth, coziness, safety, and contentment.
Denmark is notorious for having the happiest people on earth, despite their cold and dark winters. For the Danes, living in a comfortable home was essential. A comfortable home leads to joy and safety. And, joy and safety lead to a deep appreciation for life. That’s what it’s all about. Embracing and enjoying life regardless of what was going on around them.
It’s not news that American’s stress levels are sky-rocketing, which is why Hygge is becoming more mainstream than ever. So, whether you’re an exhausted momma, tight on money, or uncertain of what the future holds, you can all benefit from adding a little Hygge into your life.
HOW TO INCORPORATE HYGGE INTO YOUR LIFE
- Lighting. Warm and soft lighting is essential for achieving a certain level of coziness. If you’ve got bright lights, maybe consider switching them out for warmer tones or dimming them down a bit.
- Declutter. If you’ve been following my posts, you will know I’m huge on decluttering your living space. Less stuff equals less stress and more room for the important things in life. Here’s my story on how I came into this minimal mindset.
- Scents. In most cases, our sense of smell is tied to our memories. Recreate those memories by adding clean(non-toxic) scents to your living space. Get those essential oils going, bake some muffins, or better yet, simmer some cinnamon, cloves, and honey on your stove and breathe it in. Nothing better…or easier!
- Practice gratitude. Don’t make this too complex. Make it easy, attainable. Write down one thing you’re grateful for every morning. Doesn’t have to be fancy. You don’t even need to keep it. It’s simply the act of practicing gratitude that supports the Hygge in your life.
- Have a slow dinner. Yes, you heard me. Make dinner last for an hour! Start with an appetizer, then perhaps a salad. After about 30 minutes, bring out the main course and absolutely finish with dessert. I’ve got two little ones, and I’m thinking that a movie might be necessary for their short attention spans, none-the-less, it’s worth a shot. We, myself included, take that beautiful ritual for granted too often.
- Peaceful Music. In our house, music sets the tone. I even see moods changed instantly when I change the music.
- Build a fire. And if you don’t have a fire, there’s a realistic, real-life fireplace film on Netflix that substitutes wonderfully. I’m serious. I turn it on every morning.
- Blankets. I asked my Instagram followers to share what makes them feel comfy and cozy, and the number one answer was blankets.
- Put the phone down. Trust me. I know how easy it is to mindlessly pick up the phone and scroll through the news or your social media. But you need a break. All we’ve been doing is digesting massive amounts of information. Give your mind some rest and pull out a deck of cards, a book, or maybe even a chessboard.
- What makes you happy? Write it down and find ways to incorporate those things into your home.
I’ll say this in almost every one of my posts; we’re all different, and that’s how it should be. What’s cozy to me might not be what’s cozy to you. I love cinnamon, you may hate it. But I think there’s one thing we can all agree on—we need joy. This has been a difficult year, to say the least. So let’s welcome Hygge, let’s boil those cinnamon sticks, and let’s dive into potentially the best few weeks of 2020.