So, yesterday I checked in at my monthly WW meeting. I was sweating being up two pounds over my goal weight due to excessive eggnog latte consumption, but I was well within range. It was worth celebrating with an eggnog latte, but I did not imbibe. I finally got sick of sugar two days ago. And I’m grateful for the break.
The topic this week was hygge (hoo-ga), a Danish word which loosely means the feeling of cozy contentment brought about by focusing on simple things. I got the connection immediately as to why this is important in a healthy lifestyle. Many years ago, I realized how important it is to comfort myself.
If I’m afraid or sad or uncomfortable, it’s nice if someone else can soothe me, but it’s not their responsibility. I am the one person in the world that knows exactly what feels good and comforts me. Also, the use of external substances like food, alcohol or sex doesn’t comfort me either. Comfort comes from an inner peace and calm. It is an inside job. And hygge is a word that describes that feeling. For me it means feeling safe and warm and perfectly content.
The meeting was a great reminder for me to focus on the things that soothe me. I’ve realized over the holidays that I sleep just fine when I’m not working. It’s not that my job is bad, but I can’t seem to get myself calmed down after a hectic day. I have promised myself in 2019 I am going to do some things like meditation, yoga or deep breathing to mark the end of the workday and the beginning of my home time.
So this weekend I made time for some long meditation practices. I made myself a pot of a simple, healthy lentil soup and ate it for several meals- including breakfast – with a piece of homemade multi-grain sourdough bread topped with melted butter. I burned a lovely candle, listened to relaxing holiday music, practiced yoga and went for a hike in the snow with a friend. I wore sweatpants and covered up with cozy blankets. A loaf of banana bread baking in the oven filled my house with the scent of cinnamon. And my fur babies purred and slept next to me. If that’s not a recipe of my kind of hygge, I don’t know what is.
As for my New Year’s celebration, I’m going to say goodbye to 2018 by saying a warm hello to 2019. I’m going to declare 2019 a hygge year and focus on self-care and self-love. I plan on making lots of friends and finding a good cause where I can help others. My phone is going to stay in my pocket when I’m out and about, and I’m going to snuggle up to my own life. I’ll be 58 in two weeks, and I’m counting on making this a very good year.
What helps you find the feeling of hygge? Do you do it often enough? How could you make time for that and more this year?