Holiday Wellness Tip
The holiday season is such a busy time of year spent hosting parties, buying presents, and thinking of others that we sometimes forget to take care of ourselves. One way to stay well during the holidays is to make time for the Danish practice of hygge.
Hygge (pronounced closer to ‘hue-gah’ for us non-Danish speakers) is more of a lifestyle for the Danish but it’s been adopted and adapted in North America as a way of being cozy and comfortable, pausing to take a break, and care for yourself. It’s all about taking a breath and enjoying a special moment for yourself or with your friends or family.
Just like the term doesn’t have a direct one-word English translation, there’s no magic formula for hygge. It’s about coziness, contentment, self-care, and well-being, and it is achieved through enjoying the simpler things in life. Although it was quickly taken up in 2017 as a trend in North American interior design, hygge is meant to be more of a lifestyle, a feeling, a special moment. In some ways, hygge is a cousin to mindfulness, because both require slowing down and being truly present in the moment, and both contribute positively to mental and emotional wellness.
Hygge activities can include:
- Enjoying homemade comfort food by candlelight (the Danish love candles)
- Reading, while having a tea, all snuggled up comfy in a warm blanket
- Being cozy in an oversized sweater, sweatpants, and thick knitted socks in front of the fireplace
- Baking, taking time to savour both the flavours and the process
- Pausing to watch the snowflakes (if we get them) by the twinkling of the holiday lights
Whatever your preference, be sure to take a moment every day for some self-care hygge. It can be done on a shoestring budget because, after all, it’s just about enjoying the simple things in life.
And in anticipation of your questions, no, it’s not just a winter thing! Though it was indeed born of the cold, dark Danish winters, where the simple act of lighting a candle could lift one’s spirits, summer hygge activities include bonfires on the beach and backyard picnics, of course!
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