It’s Wednesday at the end of July. It’s rained most of the morning, and looks set to be showery on and off all day. I am at my hygge desk in the hyggeliest company I know (mostly because it’s just me and the husband. We spend all day and all night together, but it’s still good fun) and I am missing being a teacher now.
Well, if I were a teacher or even just working in school I would be off now and I could spend this day of summer rain doing something suitably summer rain-ish.
In my book, How to Hygge Your Summer I wrote a whole chapter on how to manage with summer rain. Best advice… go outside anyway. Because there is no bad weather, only unsuitable clothing.
But when the weather is dank for days on end, you need to find a way to hygge your soul. To create a sanctuary against the powerful forces of Nature and to allow yourself to enjoy… if only for a day, a morning, or an hour…. a space that gives you the warmth and comfort your soul is seeking.
Here are my top ways to deal with the British summertime at its best.
- Put the kettle on. Every kind of weather is better with a cup of tea or coffee in hand. I grabbed the chance yesterday of signing up for a tea subscription service for a few months. I chose Bluebird Tea Company purely because they had a tea advertised on Facebook as Gingerbread Chai. I have ordered some of that, and also signed up for the monthly subscription at £7 for 3 new teas a month. So, on a drizzly day, get the kettle on, make a pot of tea or coffee and sip. Every mouthful is a lesson in relaxation by itself.
- Watch the rain for a while. There’s something so child-like about finding pleasure in the raindrops, but most of the time we could do with connecting with our inner child. Sit back, watch the show and contemplate the magic of science that means each drop contains the world in miniature and upside down if you view it right.
- Make something with your hands. Although I always have a crochet project on the go, I also love having a fiddle with other crafts. A rain day is the perfect opportunity to get out something small and quick, such as hama beads, your sketchbook, a small model or some modelling clay. Enjoy the process, and if you make anything useful or good then that’s an advantage but not what you’re aiming for. My daughter today is teaching herself to knit left handed (because she’s missing me) with the ultimate ambition of making a knitted owl.
- Write a letter to a friend. Yes, in these modern days email is quicker and a phone call even to the farthest flung parts of the world can be cheap (use Skype) but there can be very little to compare to the magic of little pieces of paper dropping through the letterbox. I am a rubbish penpal, if you mean me to write to you every month, but writing on the spur of the moment and catching up with a whole load of gossip: well, that I can do.
- Write a journal. Or a short story, a poem, a blogpost or anything about the rain. Writing makes you look at your surroundings, see, so you have to consider what words to use, how to describe things. It takes up a lot of brainpower, and definitely relieves boredom.
- Take a nap. If it’s rained all morning and looks set to rain all afternoon, then curl up somewhere and take a nap. There are very few pleasures to compare to making like a cat and curling up with a blanket on a sofa or a bed. Give yourself permission to sleep for 40 minutes, close your eyes and enjoy the luxury of switching off from life even if just for a short time.
And there you have it. I haven’t put reading on the list because, for me, reading is as natural as breathing so I just assume you will read as part of your day anyway. Likewise, food is entirely at your discretion. I would probably go for something with toasted cheese on, since that is my top luxury food.
If it’s raining with you, why not drop me a line and let me know what you’re up to? If you’re on Facebook, then join The Hygge Nook, a beautifully cosy place to share news, views and ideas. I’d love to see how you’re passing the day away!
If you’d like to read more about how hygge has made my life happier, my first two books are available now: 50 Ways to Hygge the British Way is available in Paperback and Kindle version and so is How to Hygge Your Summer, again in Paperback and Kindle form, from Amazon. If you purchase through the links on this page, I get a couple of pence extra per copy, and if you’ve already read it and enjoyed it, please leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads. I have a Goodreads Author’s Page!
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