After facing yet another long and gruelling January, we can all successfully say that we’ve managed to survive the blues. If you’ve noticed, January always seems to start off in pretty much the same manner - many of us will make resolutions with every intention of keeping them. But then the depression kicks-in, the novelty wears-off, and almost inevitably we all give into temptation.
But let’s face it, it was always going to be hard coming out of a month of festivities and going straight back to work. On top of this, many of us faced the prospect of going sober for a month, so you might see how the events of January started to stack up like something out of a Greek tragedy.
So far, you might be confused to think that this is just another rant about the miseries of January and grey February, but this post is more about looking towards the months ahead. It was feeling the full brunt of this very depressing January that really got me thinking. With spring fast approaching, now was the time to take stock of everything that happened in 2016 and start making plans – ah spring, the true harbinger of growth and rejuvenation! But, as it happens, it was also the perfect time to let go of old habits.
Happiness is Hygge
Thus, enters the Danish concept of ‘Hygge’, pronounced ‘hooga’. With the basic meaning to be ‘cosy’, this concept offers a new kind of philosophy that promises to teach the art of happiness. There are many ways to be #Hygge, in fact, there can be as many as you like. Though, hygge generally refers to the pleasure you get when eating or doing something for pleasure.
Since the start of February, I’ve been trying to adopt some of these basic hygge principals into my daily routine, by cosying up with a good book, and going on long lunches with friends. Over a month of this hygge enriched diet and I can see some positive effects.
Mainly a small change in my energy levels, and a general feeling of cosiness (whether it’s all the caffeine or the few hyggenisms I’ve adopted, I can’t be too sure). However, taking just 30 minutes out of a hectic day to wind-down certainly has been an exercise in relaxation and mindfulness. For this reason, hygge at least seems to be more than just a philosophy, but a new way of life.
Hygge, coming to a home near you!
Many countries have even invented their own unique variations of this concept, all which sound rather tempting. In Sweden and Finland, for instance, they celebrate fika; a concept that basically means to take a break and enjoy a cup of coffee. Some businesses in Sweden have even gone as far as to include the phenomenon of taking fika, into employee contracts.
Now that’s something I can get on board with! The French too, have long been known to wind away their hours sitting in cafés, accompanied by hot coffee and warm croissants. Though in Britain, we might be more familiar with concepts of fika and hygge through our great love of English Tea - an iconic part of our British culture, it’s become part of our daily rituals and rich cultural heritage – here, you won’t have to travel far to find a quaint tea room or traditional tea shop.
Tracing the trend across the globe, there have been several indicators that hygge is growing in popularity, and making its way into different aspects of British industry, including fashion and textile – are you ready to recreate the hygge checklist for your home, be warned it includes an abundance of soft furnishings? While, change might take time, and certainly not bring with it many drastic changes, I believe we can learn at least one thing from the Danish: always make time to unwind with a hot drink, which is not only very relaxing but might just keep those blues at bay. #Depression