You may have heard of ‘hygge’. It has been a popular buzzword for a few years now and can be linked to home interiors and Christmas. However, hygge (pronounced hue-gah) is all about embracing a feeling of cosiness, warmth and togetherness. Here at St Jo’s we pride ourselves on our community values and feeling of togetherness. We are very much a large family, from Reception all of the way through to the Upper Sixth. Hygge slots in perfectly here at the College as we learn how to take the simple, everyday and ordinary and make it feel wonderful. Hygge is a Danish way of living; it’s a positive approach and a better mindset for dealing with difficult moments in life and has a focus on living in the present. We have all been through such uncertain times of late and the opportunity to make life simple has been forced upon many of us, but it has also enabled us to reflect and discover what is important. Hygge can feel very different to everyone but it is a lovely approach to consider, particularly as we head into the colder months and the changing of the seasons.
So, why hygge, you might be asking. Well, in the Early Years the opportunities to be at one with nature and enjoy the here and now are very much part of each day. I am currently studying for the Hygge in the Early Years Accreditation. Through this course I am adapting our learning environments, outdoor provision and daily rhythm to bring in more calmness. The beautiful grounds of St Joseph’s College empower the children to investigate and satisfy their own curiosity. So, to really harness this we will get out into the grounds to engage with a lot of our lessons under nature’s canopy. Through the joy of Woodland Explorers, the children truly navigate their natural space and use their imagination to explore their senses. This partnered with the focus on self-care and wellbeing can only mean positive implications for the children and staff involved.
Now Hygge isn’t just for school. It is for every aspect of your life. Children naturally investigate, explore, rest if they need to and see the positive in everything. Unfortunately, it’s the adults who do not heed that advice at times. So here are some family tips to light you up and bring a little bit of joy to your day that might be worth trying:
Hygge Family Tips:
Lighting String up those fairy lights – they are not just for Christmas. A calm warming light gives a sense of cosiness and warmth. Hanging lights around your mirrors, along your stairs or in vases on your table can enhance the aura of the room very easily.
Get outside Go for a nature walk. Seek out a natural space and walk around it. Explore the changing of seasons. Take time to stop, look up and around you. We live in a world of looking down at screens, working, getting to places in a hurry. Take some time to really explore what nature has to offer. Be present.
Make a cake Bake an indulgent chocolate cake or some scones to eat at afternoon tea. Put some music on in the background and quietly focus on the recipe, ingredients and the process. Then the best part is enjoying your hard work afterwards!
Play in the rain There is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing! Don the wellies, put on the mac and get out there in the rain. Splash in puddles, collect rainwater, immerse yourself in the fun and simplicity of nature. Become a child again!
Sit down Switch on a favourite movie and snuggle under blankets with a mug of hot chocolate. Nothing is more important than accepting that ‘down time’ is needed and resting our bodies in order to recharge and restore.
And finally Bring nature inside. It could be ferns from a tree that you can add to a vase, conkers collected on a walk or sticks to create a centrepiece on the table. Having nature close by can benefit both your physical and mental wellbeing. It can improve your mood and reduce negative feelings.
Another fantastic tradition that you may want to explore is something called ‘Jolabokaflod’ which translates to ‘Christmas Book Flood’. Jolabokaflod involves giving books as presents on Christmas Eve so friends and family can spend a cosy night inside curled up with a good story. As the festive season is fast approaching a great book can make a wonderful gift for your loved ones.
I hope you explore some of these ideas over the coming months. Do let me know if you try out one of these tips or are already embracing hygge in your life.