Hygge, (pronounced hoo-ga) is a word that became popular in the bloggosphere about a year ago, but has been around for much longer. The concept of Hygge, which is Danish, is all about cozy contentment, promoting well being and enjoying the simple things in life, so its said that it dosent matter how you say hygge, its about how you feel it. Whats not to love?
With this wonderful snowy weather us in the UK have been experiencing the last few days, (sorry snow haters, Im a snow geek), it makes my desire to feel all hygge increase ten fold. If you have enjoyed a hot chocolate, comfy clothes and slippers, while cosy indoors with the family, the rain lashing down outside, or been snuggled under a blanket reading a book, then you have experienced Hygge. I fell in love with everything that encompasses Hygge last year, after coming across the book, The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking.
As well as the colder months making us feel like being tucked up indoors, we all have those days where we feel a little out of sorts, stressed, maybe a little reflective, not firing on all cylinders etc. Well I always try to be kind to myself if I am having one of these days. Sometimes, its just our bodies way of telling us to take a breathe, slow down, be gentle on yourself. I thought I would share with you so me of the steps I take to enjoy a little Hygge, a little bit of self love and kindness.
For me, being nice and warm in my comfies makes me feel better straight away. I hate being cold so when home, I am permanently in my toasty slippers and there will almost certainly be a blanket close by. Incidently, my current slippers, (these** from the British company Celtic and Co), are probably the warmest, cosiets slippers I have ever owned! (I even take my slippers round to friends/families when I visit them, I really hate being cold). I tend to live in my jeans and comfy boots like these womans sheepskin boots most of the time, but when Im having a day of being home, Im in something soft and comfortable, or my pyjamas. I think if you feel comfortable, you relax more.
Do something that helps you slow down
For me, writing or reading are my two go-to’s if I am looking to make myself slow down a bit. Reading a good book gives me moments living in someone elses shoes. If its a fiction book then I glimpse a strangers life through the authors characters, and if its one of the many non fiction books I read, then I find I am thinking and pondering, letting my mind wander and digest the words. I just find it so relaxing to snuggle under a blanket and read a book for a few hours. Again, I think we can feel incredibly guilty to just sit and read, feeling like we should be rushing around, ticking things off our to do list. No. Just stop. Take some time for yourself. Dont feel guilty.
Light some candles
It is no secret if you know me, that I adore candles, It is very rare that I will be home without a candle lit. I love having beautiful scent wafting through my home, and the flicker and glow of candlelight is something I find very soothing. When I was recovering from flu last month, I made a point of lighting my Jo Malone candle that my sons had bought me for christmas, and that I was “saving”. I needed to be kind to myself, so the candle was lit. If you are having a day for you, then enjoy your best candles, light them. Dont fall into the trap of saving things for best, none of us are promised tomorrow. Just enjoy them now.
Put your technology away for an hour.
I think we can all agree that we have all become a little phone obsessed. Many of us are never far from our phones, and in many people’s cases, checking our social media accounts. I have written about this subject a few times, (you can read them here and here if you would like to) and I believe with every ounce of my being, that we all need to step away from our phones more. I dont think its healthy to be that obsessed. Perhaps set some time each day where you promise yourself you wont touch your phone? Or a day a week? When I am having a day to gather my thoughts, take some time, I put my phone in a drawer and leave it there for the day. Its liberating! I have also found in my case, it motivates me and re-freshes me to not be involved with any kind of social media for a day. Its like it presses my reset button. Id recommend it x.
Give yourself a little pamper
Whether that is to paint your nails, apply a face masque on or deeply condition your hair, show yourself some love. I tend to pop on a hydrating masque and take 20 minutes to lay with my eyes closed. I use this time for some meditation, focusing on positive thoughts and relaxation. Meditation is a wonderful way to calm the mind, and I strongly recommend it. I have used mediation as a way of keeping myself sane for many years. Its part of my daily life. I find that it re-energises my mind, makes me able to think clearer as well as focusing me and working through things troubling me. If you would like to know more, this post, Meditation and Mindfulness might help.
Enjoy an Indulgent bath
For me, there is something very special about having a really indulgent, spoil myself bath. I have a bathroom that is all mine, no boys allowed, with a very deep bath in it. As I near the end of my day, I pour some of my most decadent bubble bath into a hot, deep bath, light some candles, perhaps take a glass of wine in with me, put one some relaxing music and indulge. I think the combination of the relaxing ambience and the heat of the water just eases away any tension. Its my favourite part of my day of self kindness. I will then put on some favourite pyjamas, my warm slippers, and feel all is right with the world.
Go to bed early
After the slow, relaxing day, I like to finish with a really good nights sleep. I tend to pop a hot water bottle between my sheets about 10 minutes before, and give my pillow a spritz of relaxing linen spray. The one I currently use is an aromatherapy one from Aromaworks, Its theraputic benefits are known to aid sleep, and when I smell this scent, its like my body knows its time to switch off for a while. Im not the best sleeper, but Im convinced that these aromatherapy sprays do help. The bit about this suggestion, that I cannot stress enough, is to go to bed with out your phone or your laptop etc.
So, thats it. My hints and tips for a day of looking after yourself a bit, letting yourself have time to breathe, and slow down, and have time. Do you ever take a day to look after yourself? If you dont, is it because you feel guilty? Do you have any rituals that you do to help yourself work through those off days? Id love to hear, as always, let me know in the comments xx
*** Thank you to Celtic and Co for the gift of these slippers, that have fast become my favourites. British made, with a huge array of styles and choice for men women and children, Id recommend you pop over for a look. If you are like me and rarely out of slippers when home, you will thank me for the introduction xx.
I chose this style, the Knitted Cribba x
** Please see my disclaimer page on how some of my posts may contain affiliate links