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Let’s have a Hygge this Valentine

If you’re living the Danish way, perhaps you’re already familiar with the concept of Hygge – Hooga if you are fathoming how to say it in English (with a sexy Danish accent - despite the fact the word actually originates from Norway – does anyone know how to do a sexy Norwegian accent?) Anyway, we digress.

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Let’s have a Hygge this Valentine | Notebook Love

Living the Danish way

Living a certain way only goes so far to explain this elusive, somehow snuggly concept. Hygge isn’t a thing (although nice things might be part of it) – it’s really about the atmosphere you create and your experiences in that atmosphere. Hygge is about an environment of calm, of deep cosiness and comfort. It’s about feeling at ease with what’s around you – nature, people, the environment. It’s when you can be your true self – silent, talkative, blissed out, alone or together.

As it’s about atmosphere and experience Hygge is just perfect for Valentine’s Day.

Self-care and the love of others

Lockdown has been tough on us all – for some it’s been about feelings of loneliness, for others the craving or need to be alone. Having a bit of Hygge might seem problematic for you, for any number of reasons:

- You’re alone – can you have some Hygge when you’re on your own?

- You can’t be with someone you want to be with – is it possible to feel Hygge when you are separated by distance, social distancing or some other reason?

- You’re just about ready to throttle your loved one – you can’t seem to escape anywhere for some ‘you’ time. Hygge is the last thing on your mind this Valentines!

Lockdown has been tough on us all – for some it’s been about feelings of loneliness, for others the craving or need to be alone.

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Tips for Valentine’s Hygge 

With a loved one and want to celebrate – Hygge up!

If you’re actually looking forward to a bit of romantic time with your loved one this Valentine’s Day, then creating a Hygge atmosphere (particularly if it’s something a bit different to your normal routine) should be right up your street.

Make a Hygge schedule and get prepared:

- Get the Hygge going with some Danish cooking recipes (readily available on the Internet). Danish roasted pork anyone? Spiced hot wine? Swedish meatballs? Warm oats and pumpkin seeds? Salmon and maple syrup?

- Wrap up warm, take a flask of hot wine or spiced tea and go for a night-time stroll. If you can’t get out for a walk, take chairs and blankets outside, open a window and let nature in (not those big house spiders though, obvs).

- Create a Hygge corner at home – candles, blankets, cushions, the cat – make a little square of Hygge space.

- Get out a Board game or puzzle. Yes, a real, physical version (no devices, shared TV screens or gaming allowed!). Add some background music and snacks and have fun. OK maybe a movie and popcorn are allowed if it keeps the kids quiet!

Can’t be with your loved one, and missing them.

You may not be able to be in the arms of your loved one this Valentine, but that’s not to say that you can’t be thinking about each-other (even if at different times, if one of you is working the late shift!). Try these Hygge ideas.

- Cosy up, either end, with all the ingredients already mentioned and if you can talk to your loved one on the phone – no not the smart phone video call, Zoom invitation. Just a voice call – hell, dig out the landline if you still remember what one of those is. Listen to the other person with care (don’t interrupt). Talk, stay silent…really tune in.

- Send your Valentine a little gift before the big day (and gift the same to yourself) – chocolates, home-made cookies, a candle, some incense. If you can, both settle down and enjoy the same experience together.

Write a letter or poem to your loved one – again, a real handwritten one – not a digital one! Open and read in your little Hygge space.

Just me on Valentine’s

Self-care and love are great big dollops of Hygge, so make the most of it. You might have been doing some of these throughout lockdown already, but perhaps you can bring a fresh twist to a ‘me’ day.

- Speak to family and friends. Don’t assume they all have plans. Is there someone you can buddy up with and have a good belly-laugh with over a glass of wine and expensive chocolate?

- Binge watch your favourite Netflix, Apple or Prime shows or hold a Watch Party with far flung friends.

- Bathe, scrub, moisturise and snuggle down in freshly laundered PJs (yes in the middle of the day if you like, this is all about you - not what the postman thinks!).

- Buy yourself something that you never normally would. Is there something on your one-day wish list that could be fast-tracked to today’s purchases, just this once? And who says that only other people can buy you flowers? Why not treat yourself to the freshness of the outside, the hope of spring and the lifting of lockdown by ordering a letterbox arrangement, just for you?

So here’s to Hygge, no matter what predicament you might find yourself in. Embracing Hygge might just be the thing that gets us all through a lockdown Valentine’s Day

Elisa
Nardi

Written by Elisa Nardi, Founder & CEO of Notebook Mentor, career journals to help ordinary people manage, develop, and be happier at work. 

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