Let's start this post out with a deep breath, shall we?...and some wise words from one of my most favorite people on the internet in the quote below. (If you want to learn more from her, I highly suggest you follow her on IG @sarahjenks)
Hi! Feels good to be writing a post for my little corner of the web.
A few years ago I learned of the term “hygee.” It seem everyone has a bit of a different interpretation of hygge and what it means, which I actually think is what makes the concept so comforting and freeing in this often difficult season.
It’s the middle of February - it’s cold, dark (although getting lighter), snow blankets the earth, here in MA anyway. Combine this season with a global pandemic...we're on month 12 of all of this, and we've got a really hard season for a lot of people. I want to give the biggest virtual hug to all who are struggling, have struggled. What a year it's been.
I fully realize (as much as I can without living it), this shift of pace that I am about to share is not available for so many right now. My privilege to “embrace this season” needs to be named first and foremost. I have the privilege of making the choice to enjoy this season, the privilege to slow down, reflect and strategize. However, what I do think/hope is accessible to all of us...is the concept of embracing the seasons, the cycles, and giving in to what winter is here to teach us.
So...when I learned that there was an entire region, full of the happiest people in the world (despite the most grueling temperatures each winter, record snow fall, a mere blip they can call summer) I was intrigued. Those living in the Scandinavian countries have a little secret - a way of life that guides them though the cold, long months. And thats, Hygge.
To some hygge is drinking tea, being draped in a blanket, eating cake and being cozy. (Again, enter the acknowledgment of this privilege) But as I have begun to understand it’s roots - it’s really about a mindset, an embracing, and a true understanding of living with the seasons and it’s innately cyclical nature...rather than fighting against it.
Beyond sipping tea by the fire, the real way to embrace the winter and cultivate Hygee (from my interpretation) is to GET OUTSIDE! Spending time outside, even during the coldest of months, is what gives breath to Hygee. We have really, really prioritized this in our family the last few years. Too cold and grey to think about going outside? Well, strap on those boots kids...we're going out!
I am convinced, that nature heals. I know this is not a new concept (haha), but in my 34th year on the planet, I am starting to really see it for myself. And I see it for my kids. Stepping outside, truly even if it's just for a few minutes, it resets us all in the best way.
When you spend time outside, it makes coming inside that much more cozy! Step 1 to embracing winter - G E T O U T S I D E! Step 2 - make sure you have warm gear, because that's the only way you're going to enjoy step 1!
I was absolutely fascinated by this concept - millions of people, not just “making it through” winter, but actually enjoying it for what it is. In retrospect, I think what really got me curious was this concept that people slow down, and just live at a different pace during the colder months. That they rest more, sleep more, spend intentional time outside and truly spend some time hibernating.
Before I learned about Hygee, I thought there was one pace to life, in every season - busy, fast, productive. The notion that there was a built in time to slow down, rest, retreat - it was foreign to me. All the more reason to learn, and put what I learned into practice in my own life. I was SO intrigued!
This concept of embracing the seasons, and our days, and life being cyclical, is something that has flooded my mind in the last year or two. There is SO much more I want to share about this and how it's effected me, and so much more to learn - but truly it feels both so liberating, and so grounding to me.
To understand that there is both a season to create, and a season to reflect - a season to be active and busy, and a season to rest - a season to stay up late outside, and a season to go to bed early. It makes sense, living with natures rhythm. Why fight it, instead embrace it and see what happens for you <3.
Get outside + cultivate cozy!