The practice of wellness was well captured in the article by Tami Forman in Forbes magazine named Self Care is Not An Indulgence she wrote "self-care is a discipline. It requires tough-mindedness and respect for you and the people you spend your life with", I would agree. As a mom and caregiver, our wellness requires us to fight and pursue it. While I have been pursuing this concept, I still have some growth to do on a practical level.
January is a great time to roll up our sleeves and put this "fight" into practice because January IS a wee bit of a fight (emotionally) in our souls. I was introduced to the concept of Hygge last year at a women’s event I took part in at our church. Many of the women acknowledge how hard Januarys are so they wanted to capture something comforting for the winter months. I learned at that event the term “Hygge” is a Danish word for wellbeing. The Danes, who’s culture dates back through centuries, have mastered the art of Hygge even in their looong winter months. They continue to place first as the happiest people on the planet. I think wellbeing has a lot to do with what we hold our attention too. The attention piece IS one of our B. I. G. G .E. S. T. generational challenges today. In our digital age, the amount of information we consume is highly disorienting. I have not fully appreciated this because the digital age IS my normal. I really know nothing different. I've noticed from my trips to coastal Ireland to visit family, that the pace of life, its cultural values differ from here. In some ways, I’ve chased that simplicity, which I admire and adore. The Danes and Irish have a lot of similarities: an untouched culture, years accumulated and ingrained over time which ground them in their identity. Less chasing the next new shiny or novel things, more contentment in simple pleasures.
What's fascinating about the Danes is the way they have perfected their Hygge, adopting it as a lifestyle, a practice, nurturing the qualities of living well even in their own harsh winter climate. They have connected a large part of themselves to their Hygge practices. There is a lot I believe we can learn from the Danes. While I’ve admired many aspects of a cozy lifestyle, I’ve not paid enough personal attention to the soul comforting properties it provides. I've dismissed it because it seems so insignificant. I’ve undervalued the practices that many people enjoy and take great pleasure in. I think I've been guilty of chasing, pursuing “more” when actually, it’s connecting (paying attention) to the goodness of small, even insignificant moments that really matter (like savouring in a comforting drink of tea or wrapping in a blanket and so many other things)
Historically, I have found the transition from Christmas to January to be rough. The sparkle and beauty of the Christmas season to the dullness of January feels like an enormous loss. As I transition into the New Year, I want to pay more attention to the comforts of Hygge. Some aspects of Hygge I’d like to pay special attention to are the sensations of
I’ve been reading up on Hygge, the elements that contribute to a sense of comfort, and a soothing experience. Hygge is “coziness for the soul”.
Hygge: A quality of coziness and contentment.
Hygge is a form of self-kindness for the long cold isolating months of winter. But maybe winter for you isn't cold, dark or snowy, maybe it's just the time of year everything just feels heavy. Hygge connects us to life's simple pleasures and comforts our souls deeply.
January is the perfect month (and most especially post-Christmas) to get acquainted with Hygge. What a better way to practice self-kindness and address feelings of suffering in one of the toughest months emotionally. (the darker, colder, more isolating days of January, in addition to unsettling events happening across the globe.)
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