The Monday after a weekend always catches me unawares even though I schedule things well in advance. There are days when I feel smug and sorted, because I’ve got things worked out. But, the days I dread the most are those that bring in the feeling of inadequacy when I’ve got my hands full and feel like I’m being sucked into quicksand from which there is no escape.
I’m afraid today happens to be one such day! It’s when one needs a ‘hygge’, I’m told! Yes, you heard me right – a hygge!
Now, if you’re wondering what on earth that is, let me assure you, I was as baffled as you probably are, when I heard it for the first time, this morning. Apparently, hygge – both the word and the concept are taking the world by storm at the moment. Hygge (‘hoo-ga’ or ‘hue-gah’) originally a Norwegian term for wellbeing, means ‘cosiness’ or ‘togetherness’ in English. It is more of a feeling or a mood; a sort of mental state, rather than a physical one. It’s more to do with how comfortable you feel in your clothes rather than how you look. The Danish see it more as a ritual of enjoying life’s simple pleasures with the friends or family, soaking in graciousness and feeling contentment. In other words, doing simple things like enjoying your morning coffee with a friend, having a fragrant scented candle lit nearby while you curl up with a good book, even going out with friends for a meal.
I now begin to understand how hygge makes the Danish brace the dark depressing cold winters when there is very little daylight. (Come to think of it, being happy when you have every reason to be depressed, is not easy at all!) No wonder, they remain the happiest people in the world.
It is not easy to think of happiness when conflicting demands on our time and effort pull us in too many directions than our energy permits. At times when stress is increasingly becoming a part of our lives, it helps to know that we could all do with some more warmth, some positivity, some more respect for each other and the environments we share.
Some food for thought on a Monday morning.
Does hygge look like something you could benefit from? Does the concept make sense to you? What are the different things that you would like to do to enhance this feeling of wellbeing in your life?