Seasonal Affective Disorder (or SAD) is a bitch; not gonna lie. I have depression already but then throw on an extra layer of SAD and you want to blow your brains out. Ok, I don’t want to blow my brains out. Perhaps the statement, blow my brains out, was inappropriate. Sorry.
Anyway, I heard about Hygge a while back from a blogger friend but something shiny caught my eye and I forgot to reasearch it. So before my trip to Ikea today, I was surfing through their website when I came upon a Hygge page. I decided to read on.
It’s pronounced WHO-GA. Honestly, I want to still pronounce it HIGGIE. Like it rhymes with piggie or something but I know that’s not the right way. Hygge can’t be bought so if someone says you have to buy X, Y and Z to obtain Hygge, they’re big fat liars. Hygge can’t be created. From my understanding, it’s a mindset. It’s always being mindful of your surroundings and appreciating the simple pleasures. Hygge is finding ways to make your surroundings cozy.
Hygge is apparently part of the reason why countries like Norway and Denmark are the hap, hap, happiest place of ass holes on Earth. Many would find this ironic considering they deal with months of darkness. I mean, look at the forecasted sunrise and sunset of Tromso, Norway, home of 70,000 inhabitants:
So like many of you, our ancestors were dicks and picked colder states in lieu of South Carolina or Texas. Couple that with it getting dark at 5, and you want to blow your….no, I said I wouldn’t use that phrase. I want to fight seasonal depression and I’m going to use Hygge to do so. Want to do it together? Here are 6 things I learned:
Embrace and Accept It
I had a REALLY hard time as a kid in the winter. I was perpetually mad at my parents for continuing to live in Ohio when they could pack my sisters and I up and move to Florida. As the years passed, I grew into an acceptance which has made my view on the cold much better. Like the cold, I need to embrace the dark. The dark shouldn’t just be something we put up with till the Spring. We need to find ways to accept it and carry on during the dark times.
Believe it or not, I just had a brain-storm while writing this. Now I understand why my SAD doesn’t really kick in till January. It’s because all the Christmas lights go away. The beautiful lights are something I enjoy while lighting the darkness.This makes sense as to why Hygge is about cozy lighting. I guess the Nordic countries use the most candles out of anyone in the world. Candles are part of bringing this lifestyle into your home. As I write this I lit 2 candles to begin this experiment.
I love this video because this dude explains Hygge further. He describes it as indulging in stuff that makes us happy which can include candy, baked goods, hot cocoa and wine.
Hygge is about connecting with loved ones. It’s about having them come over for a meal or just hang out. More than Hygge, the social aspect has gotta be good for anyone’s soul. Hygge is not about contrived moments but about a laid back feeling and just enjoying these people.
What I took from this was 2 things: 1. slow down your life and 2. upon slowing down, find something that makes you happy and do that on a ritualistic basis. Be mindful of the pleasure it brings you. Consider something you used to do and incorporate it again.
Be Mindful of Your Surroundings
When its January and I’m driving to work with dark sludge on the roads that I can barely make through my dirty windows, the next words out of my mouth is “what a shit hole”. Again, I think it’s about training our brain to appreciate what we do have. In some ways, I think being mindful and accepting the dark go hand in hand.
Well now that I sound like a complete f’ing hippie, I think I’ll end it here. Shall I introduce the power of crystals next week or something? I do want to read more about the Hygge concept. Have you guys heard of this? Have you practiced it or tried to? I would love to know!