June is upon us and I am most pleased!
After a long, cold winter, spring has been a much welcomed deliverance into the land of the living. I tend to hibernate during the cold months; it’s dark outside and lack of vitamin D depletes my boundless energy (although close friends would tell you I’ve still got more energy than the average gal ha ha). Winter is a tough time for a lot of us. SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder, is very common among fellow Canadians and those living in the north. My friends and I, we try to hold each other up with positivity and gently coax each other out of our comfortable – and warm – domains to bravely face each day. One foot in front of the other. We say with encouragement and hope, “Spring is just around the corner; I can feel it!”
I practiced Hygge (pronounced Hoo-ga) every damn day. In case you’ve been living under a rock or hiding like a hermit all winter long like myself, Hygge is defined as, a Norwegian and Danish word for a mood of coziness and comfortable conviviality – oooh I like the way that word sounds – with feelings of wellness and contentment. Some ways that I bring this state of mind into my life while enduring the cold is to:
- Light candles. Lots and lots of candles. I love scented candles; the olfactory senses can be positively affected by pleasing scents. The glow of the flame provides a feeling of warmth.
- Faux fur everything – throws, pillows, rugs
- Slow cooker meals – minimal effort, comfort food.
- Essential Oils – diffusers with invigorating and energizing scents
- Hot baths – what else can I say, other than it’s a cure-all for many ailments, according to Nana.
There are many ways to practice Hygge in the wintertime, but it is currently June and I’m aiming to keep this feeling of wellness and contentment alive! Just this morning, I had the opportunity to practice another passion of mine – yoga, with some lovely ladies at my son’s school, bright and early this morning. We used our breath to encourage our bodies into a state of relaxation and contentment. One part of Hygge is sharing quality time with those you love, creating fellowship with like minded souls. This spring I have been able to recognize Hygge in my other activities of daily living.
Gardening is another love of mine. Where some may say it’s just plain hard work, I can agree that it is, but the rewards of seeing my perennial beds take shape, fill out and mature, outweigh the physical effort it took to create my living work of art! I find it is mentally relaxing, because I can ‘zone-out’ while pulling weeds and pruning in a meditative-like state.
Spring-cleaning, oh I could write a whole piece on this topic! The feeling I get after a good purge and a deep clean is like a rebirth, a phoenix rising from the ashes. I can stand back and admire my work. Everything has a place and there’s a place for everything, according to Mom. (I’m a chip off the old block. Mature block? Old isn’t nice).
Art! Art outside; even better. I love to paint and painting plein air is a great way to achieve that feeling of contentment and relaxation. Choosing subjects that remind me of Spring/Summer, like flowers, plants, botanicals, birds and all things nature related inspire and bring me joy.
Walking with my loved ones on the waterfront trail, observing the swans on the bay and receiving a healthy dose of the aforementioned vitamin D, awakens certain muscles that have laid dormant all winter long. Yes, it’s a rare occasion that I will walk the waterfront trail mid-January. Enjoyable outdoor activities are a component to any good Hygge practice.
Back yard barbecues with friends produces that feeling of conviviality and togetherness. Again, great food is a comfort to us and great company is another key to Hygge. It’s a chance to connect during a meal and enjoy this beautiful weather! Summertime, and the livin’ is easy, according to Ella Fitzgerald.
Let’s stay present and appreciate the sunny days, the sand beneath our feet and the warm wind on our faces.
Love to you all! xo