In This Post: Through the Danish idea of hygge, learning to say “no”, and starting the morning off strong, find out how to make time for cozy living.
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Everyone, hello! My name is Leah Reed and I am the new intern at The Gem! I am a lover of books (Harry Potter nerd for life), people (my friends are all over the country so keeping up with them is a full-time job!), and my sweet dog, Cooper. Because I am an outgoing introvert, I love having quiet nights at home just as much as grabbing coffee with a friend. This past May I started my graduate degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling so I can make helping people find wellness my career. I can’t wait to share this beautiful life with all of you!
Ladies, is there anyone out there who has had a crazy October? Mine has included a job resignation, a new job, a new internship, a graduate school interview, and a funeral. Woah, I’m breathless just mentally recalling that all of this happened in one month. All of this newness means that I have a new normal and to say it’s been an adjustment is an understatement. My head and heart are all over the place as I start understanding this new way of life. I have resorted to one of my favorite ways to self-destruct: making the busiest schedule possible. Sometimes I believe the lie that overfilling my schedule will produce more stability. Instead, it’s producing more angst. The word I keep coming back to when reflecting on this month is hectic.
Yikes. Not a great feeling. After I caught my breath today to write this post I kept thinking, “do I want to be the kind of person who cultivates a chaotic life?” Obviously, no.
It is time for me to speak a new word for my life into existence: cozy.
Let Me Introduce You to Hygge
I have recently become fascinated with the Danish idea of hygge after listening to a podcast (By The Book) where two women lived by The Danish Art of Hygge by Meik Wiking for two weeks. Hygge is a Danish concept of coziness, well-being, and happiness. It is the opposite of busy, hustle and bustle, and stress. Hygge is the way you feel when you walk outside and the temperature is just right and the sun is shining. Hygge is the way it feels to have coffee with a dear friend in your favorite coffee shop. We can identify that sweet feeling of comfort when it happens.
Hygge, as I understand it, is a habit of living that seeks a deep sense of well-being through the act of simple choices. Instead of just waiting for these moments to happen, the concept of hygge states that we should always be trying to direct our decisions to make life more cozy, forming habits that eventually lead to well-being.
Instantly, I fell in love with this concept. Small, daily decisions to make life slower? Small, daily decisions to take me from hectic to cozy? Sign me up.
Learning to Say “no”
First, I had to make decisions about what I’m saying “no” to. Daily, I am telling myself that packing more into my schedule does not mean happiness. I practice saying no every day in order to make room for things I want to say yes to. Some “no’s” are easier: not going out for drinks with friends to enjoy a good book at home. Some are much harder: saying “no” to my new full-time job, in order to say “yes” to graduate school. Each “no” makes room for a better “yes”. A simpler schedule means that life is a little comfier.
If you have trouble saying “no”, start small. Take some time to ask yourself “what do I need right now?”. Say it out loud so you can actually hear it. Now, say “no” to something clogging your schedule so that you can say “yes” to yourself.
Start the Morning Off Strong
Second, I recommitted to my morning routine. Every morning I make my bed, grab a cup of coffee, and sit down with my sweet dog, Cooper. I light a candle (my current favorite is called Comfort). I curl up with my canine buddy and allow myself to quietly be. Try practicing gratitude for the people in your life. Write their names down and feel grateful that those relationships are thriving. Write down an intention for your day to practice being intentional. Gratitude and contentment don’t just happen; they must be practiced daily. Starting with a slow moment to practice the behaviors I want to have all day has made every day a little more hygge.
This daily practice of gratitude and learning to say “yes” to myself has made all the difference. Make my bed. Savor my coffee. Light one candle. Take a deep breath. Cuddle with a blanket. Practice gratitude. Simplify my schedule.