When I set out to hibernate by myself in January as a way to get through the post-Christmas blues, I knew that the tools I needed were right at hand. Giving nothing away, but if you get the basic areas of life balanced, you stand a greater chance of being resilient when it comes to others.
When I set out to keep my life boosted through the food, company, crafting, reading and self-care in my life, I was expecting to feel ‘good enough’ at the end, to have survived. I wasn’t actually expecting to feel better in the middle of February than I have for a while. I think…. whisper it quietly…. I might have got my life in some sort of balance.
I have enjoyed my life because I have given myself permission to do the things that give me peace: to read good books, eat good food and enjoy good company. Even when I was ill I gave myself permission to enjoy the illness, no dragging myself out of bed, just the view that life will have to wait for me to catch up. To summarise how each area has gone:
Crafts: My cream blanket still sits unfinished in the basket, but it’s a lot further on than before. My fairy is cut and ready in a tin to take to London and do in the weekend that I’m there (February 24th I will be in some delicious cafe meeting up with members of the Hygge Nook again and I can’t wait!) while my silver clay arrived this week and is waiting only fo rme to declare the day is right to make new earrings for myself. I’m happy to have these projects ongoing, along with a sketchbook that I plan to draw in regularly.
Company: I struck lucky here, with a big family party and a night out with my sister-in-law as well as the events I had planned. I love spending time with the people I love, and spending time in company, as well as in solitude, will be something I plan for regularly going forward.
Self-Care: I am very unapologetic now in taking what I need to, in order to be balanced. One night last week I took myself off to bed at half nine, a good hour and a half early, because I felt tired and I knew my body would feel better for a proper night’s sleep in bed, rather than a doze by the fire and a crawl into bed much later on. I listened to a story, fell asleep and woke early as normal and feeling 100% better. I’ve bumped up my vegetable content in my meals, I try to take the exercise my body needs, walk as far as I can otherwise, and my mental health has been boosted by maintaining a Positive Mental Attitude. I also read up on mindfulness (again) and I’ve been trying to boost the number of times a week I actually feel mindful.
Curating My Reading: Six books only? I must have been feeling slow. Books are my passion, and always will be, so I read several at once. Of course I added to these, and dropped The Pickwick Papers and A Year of Marvellous Ways to include others. I also found my magazines were useful reading, since they were short enough to read wherever I was. TV wise, I haven’t watched much. Building my hygge nook at home and getting a radio to go in it has encouraged me to listen far more than I watch at the moment. If you want my top book for hibernation this year, it has to be Making Winter by Emma Mitchell. Total hygge hibernation inspiration.
Cook: Oh, yes! Did I enjoy the meals I made this month! We now have at least two good fish recipes to use regularly, and both adaptable to whichever sort of fish I have to hand. We’ve bumped the veg content of all our meals without feeling deprived, and I know my body is happier for it. I’m still looking out for more ways to make our meals healthier.
In Conclusion: Hibernation this year has been a pleasure. True, we didn’t end up having any mad snow in my neck of the woods (yet) and even rainy days have a beauty of their own if you look at them differently. There are only two weeks left until March, and we’re almost in Lent, the traditional period of preparation for Easter in the Christian world. I think my next six weeks will be about embedding the things I’ve learned during hibernation. I especially feel the need to look into mindfulness, to make time to practise it properly and keep my inner self balanced. You know you’ll be reading more about that in the future…..
And as the days brighten, remember that hygge isn’t just for the dark days. It’s a year round feeling. I sometimes think we need the opposite of hibernate, the self-care equivalent for summer. I write about summer hygge in How to Hygge Your Summer, in Paperback and Kindle form, from Amazon. Although it’s seen as all throws and cosy coffee by the fire, hygge isn’t that: it’s far more encompassing.
My other books have more ideas that are good for hygge, and are all available from Amazon. 50 Ways to Hygge the British Way is available in Paperback and Kindle version . Have Yourself a Happy Hygge Christmas was released in September 2017 and is available again in paperback and ebook version.
If you purchase anything through the links on this page, I get a couple of pence extra per copy, and if you’ve already read my books and enjoyed them, please leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads.
****How to Hygge the British Way Blog isn’t monetised. I have taken the decision that I want to remain neutral and not to promote things just because. I will only ever review items that I have bought myself, or that I think will help to promote hygge in a busy life. To do this, I need support. Even just the price of a coffee adds up to a book over time, and it means I can stay independent. Would you help? Please consider clicking through to paypal.me/HyggeJem and leaving even a small amount. I’d be very grateful. Thank you.***