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Comfort and Joy!

On this eve of Christmas Eve, I want to talk about a Scandinavian concept, called Hygge, pronounced "hue-guh", which expresses the feeling of cozy contentment and comfortableness in the present moment, enjoying the simple things in life.

I had that experience today as I spent the afternoon baking cookies with my mom, sisters, and nieces. It didn't go as planned, we had to run out to the store for things we needed, the temperature of the oven wasn't always spot on for the type of cookie we were making and yes, some got burned.

But we did have a great time, lots of laughter, (almost) no one was on their phone, and there was absolutely no drama. I felt utterly contented and joyful in the moment.

I am not sure if I would have felt this way last year, even though I think it was the Year of Hygge (at least for companies wanting to sell you Hygge-ish things) here in the U.S. I was just scrambling along like everyone else, getting ready for the holidays.

I think the switch this year is due to my daily meditation practice, which I started in May. I went on a yoga retreat and afterwards I decided I would try to meditate every day. So far, so good. I started with five minutes and now I do twenty, sometimes thirty minutes in the morning and feel this really helps me stay focused, present and aware of what is around me. And that mindfulness increases my feelings of well-being.

You may not be ready for meditation just yet, but you can still enjoy Hygge during the dark, cold winter months by enjoying simple things like nestling into a comfortable chair, with a good book, a hot cup of cocoa, a throw blanket, and wooly socks. Oh, yeah, enjoy some home baked cookies and light some candles too. Now you are getting it!

My point is this - don't be stressed out this holiday season. Try to stay in the moment, really listen to your family and friends, and enjoy all of the seemingly mundane aspects of getting ready to host a party, wrap presents, or prepare a meal this holiday season.

When you need some quiet time, go find a hyygekrog (cozy nook) to hide out in.

Merry Christmas!

Health Coach Michelle

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