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Share Hygge

Mental health

Have you heard of that term ‘Hygge’? Pronounced Hoo-ga, it’s defined as a feeling of cosy contentment and well-being through enjoying the simple things in life.

If you’ve ever enjoyed cosying up to read a book on a windy afternoon, or a cup of hot chocolate on a snowy day, then you’ve experienced hygge without even knowing it.

In The Little Book of Hygge the concept is broken down into a manifesto which includes:

  •  Atmosphere – especially having the correct kind of lighting
  •  Presence or mindfulness (think switching off your phone!)
  •  Equality – we over me
  •  Gratitude – being thankful for what you have now
  •  Harmony – no place for competition or bragging
  •  Comfort – your surroundings
  •  Truce – no conflicts
  •  Togetherness
  •  Shelter – a feeling of safety.

You can read books, blogs and articles of ways to experience a sense of hygge, common suggestions are light a candle, invite friends round for lunch, make a bonfire, cosy up under a blanket, do some baking, and read a book.

But I think I’ve discovered another one to add to the list: post!

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve received two separate pieces of post which have made me feel all warm, appreciated and happy inside. Firstly I received a letter from a close friend which cheered me on and shared some very kind and helpful words. I actually see this friend every week and yet she spent her time physically writing to me. I sat down and had a little cry at her letter and it made me feel so special and loved.

And again, recently, I received some hot chocolate and biscuits through the post from my church family and attached to them was a little note which really encouraged me. I sat and drank that hot chocolate with a blanket and a little candle burning, and I definitely felt hygge.

I love the idea of creating hygge for others and so I want to encourage you to spend some time writing a letter to someone. It may be for someone that you see every week, or someone you haven’t seen or spoken to in months. You could pop it through their door or send it by good old snail mail. Could you encourage them, could you say thank you for something that they’ve done recently or in the past? Or share a hopeful message that will cheer them on?

I read recently about a lady who printed out lots of photos of her friends and family and sent them out with encouraging messages to the people in those photos. What a heart-warming idea.

Sadly we can’t be together very easily at the moment, but by sending messages of gratitude and encouragement we can really help others to feel valued and loved… and that feeling (I THINK!) is hygge.

 

Photo by Debby Hudson

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