Mindfulness

Fall is the Perfect Time to Practice the Art of Hygge

Nov 04

About Me

I’m a West Coast girl turned small town, Midwest Mom. I love the outdoors, cooking, writing, and spending time with my family. I am dedicated to keeping my life as simple as possible.

With a B.A. degree in Psychology, I have several years experience working with families and seniors. I believe in a holistic view to organizing. Clearing our minds of the clutter and chaos in our lives is just as important as clearing our physical clutter. By taking a holistic approach to organizing, we can make lasting change.

I am a high energy person, and love to see a messy room transform into an organized space. My need for order and simplicity stems from my ADHD disability as a way to compensate for my short attention span. So my gifts and my challenges are all ironically tied together to create who I am, and I am miraculously able to help others as a result of this coping method that I have developed for myself.

It is my deepest hope that you will find resources here that will bring you closer to living a simpler, more intentional, and more peaceful life. 

 

On a chilly night, my daughter loves nothing more than to wrap herself in a cozy warm housecoat, light a candle, and make herself a cup of hot cocoa. Then she sits by the fire, just sipping and savoring.  She does this intentionally, delighting in her careful routine of enjoying the present moment. But unintentionally, she is practicing the art of Hygge. 

What is Hygge Anyway?

Hygge, pronounced “hyooguh”, is defined as “a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being”. Originated in Denmark, Hygge is regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture.

Hygge is not necessarily done as a self-indulgence per se, but with an appreciation for each step of a self-nurturing activity. It is taking the time for appreciating, slowing down, and paying attention. It’s relishing the simple pleasure of doing something for no other reason, than to enjoy every moment of it.

Hygge, essentially then, is the practice of living in the present.  It is recognizing that there is abundant comfort and joy being offered to us by simply being at home. The trees are starting the lose their leaves, and crisp, chilly nights are upon us. It is in the Fall, that we start to crave a bowl of homemade soup and a fire in the fireplace. It is the perfect time to make our inside world cozy, and to slow down and pay attention enough to enjoy it.

Hygge Helps Us Live The Moment  

Many of us are so busy on any given day, that the idea of slowing down and engaging in a bit of Hygge, is unrealistic and out of reach. There are dishes to be washed, kid’s basketball games to attend, and laundry piled to the ceiling. For many of us, our worlds spin so fast, that we don’t even know how to slow down, let alone relish the simple comforts of home life. But, in addition to being essentially cost free, there are several other benefits to taking the time to practice Hygge. 

Hygge

Hygge Helps Us Slow Down

Hygge helps us enjoy the present moment. By doing so, we also slow down and relax.  We take our focus off of worrying or what we need to do next. By recognizing and embracing all the comforts that being at home has to offer, we engage in a self-nurturing activity.  In practicing the concept of Hygge, we are practicing living mindfully and, in the moment. We are not missing out on what is going on right now. This is a good thing.

Try This at Home

If you like to cook, make a pot of your favorite homemade soup.  Maybe even bake a loaf of bread to go with it. Give yourself and your family a little comfort food.  As you chop the vegetables, do it thoughtfully and enjoy each step of the process.  Don’t let your mind wander elsewhere to anxieties about tomorrow or ruminations about yesterday. Stay present, don’t hurry, and don’t worry, instead, appreciate each step. Let the aroma of the soup permeate your home and savor its delicious fragrance.

Preparing a Hygge Friendly Space

Keep in mind that the experience of Hygge can be enhanced by taking steps to ensure that the space in which you are performing your activity, supports you.  A clean and orderly kitchen or an organized and functional garden shed offers a more pleasurable experience than a cluttered area will. Not only will you have an inviting space to perform your activity in, but you will have ample space to work in. You will also have everything you need at your fingertips without having to search for anything.

Other examples of Hygge might be; taking a walk in nature, relishing in a long, hot bath, or perhaps doing some gardening. It can be as simple as making a pot of your favorite herbal tea. You may want to read a good book, or savor a cup of coffee on the front porch. It’s whatever delights or comforts you.

What you are doing is not as important as how you are doing it. Stay focused and present while performing the activity.  If your mind wants to wander, gently return to the present moment. The key is to perform these activities with a new perspective and appreciation for the enjoyment of doing them.

Hygge Helps Us Practice Staying Present

By being intentional, and savoring each step of an activity, we engage in the spirit of Hygge. We do this instead of performing these tasks blindly. And the more we practice staying present, the better we get at cultivating mindfulness. As a bonus, as we infuse gratitude and presence into the everyday activities we do at home.  We also reap the benefits of enjoying all the simple pleasures that being at home has to offer.

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