A Weekend With…. Sevina Yates

My last post seems to have got a few people going. It’s password protected, because it’s actually a post that goes alongside the Cosy Happy Hygge newsletter (which I’m currently compiling) and not publicly available. The password will be in the newsletter, so if you want to know what the rest of the post says, you’ll have to sign up. Details are on this post.  It’s free to subscribe (although I’ll never say no to the donation of a couple of pence if you like it) and hopefully will give you a little ray of happiness every month.

It’s almost September, and that means the nights are getting longer. It won’t be long now before we hit the equinox, when day and night are of equal length. I know many people find Winter a struggle because of the daylight. My eldest brother suffers from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) and sinks lower in his spirits as the days shorten. In the olden days, we’d simply sleep longer when there was less light, and wait for the Spring to blossom. Modern life makes that difficult, and that’s where the self-care that is part of hygge (along with enjoyment of simple pleasures, curating a comfortable home and appreciating nature) comes in. You need to nurse yourself through the dark months, and always to hold on to the knowledge that the light will return. That ancient Sol Invictus still has an impact on us, even in our modern world.

Even the smallest light shines bright in the darkness

I’m always pleasantly surprised how many people find hygge as a source of comfort when they have SAD. It seems that, as they search for a cure or a comfort during the winter months, hygge sits there with its quiet philosophies and lures them in to a world of hot drinks, covers and candles, adding the little extra cosiness they need to shelter their souls. Our A Weekend With…. star this week is someone like that.  She, too, found hygge helped her cope. Welcome to Sevina Yates

Hi I’m Sevina Yates from the small Isle of Sheppey in Kent England!
I am married to Wayne who works in a school and is convinced he is descended from vikings because he is 6ft tall and ginger. I have three children, two girls and a boy and I’m an artist.

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I live on an island made of clay in an Estuary teeming with birdlife and at first I painted wildlife but when my parents took me to the Alps I was so impressed I have wanted to paint them ever since. I’m used to the ground being flat, so to see it rise up so much in front of me is something I can’t forget.
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I first heard about hygge on Pinterest. I have seasonal affected disorder or SAD and autumn is a difficult time for me. I was looking for ways to learn to enjoy the season and created an autumn board full of warm colours and hot chocolate, blankets, all the things to look foreword too. I discovered an article on how Danish people deal with the dark winter and hygge was the answer! I always go chestnutting with my family in autumn and I love weaving scarves and blankets and I started to understand how enjoying the simple things like a cup of coffee or frost on leaves and really taking time to appreciate the moment can make such a difference. Also painting with my music in the studio. I lose hours that way and always come out with a buzz feeling great!

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My perfect hygge day would be in Switzerland near Interlaken in the summer.  I would be with all my family including parents and sister and we would pack lunch and take a cable car up the mountain and let the kids play in the streams and playgrounds. We would eat our lunch with a view of snowcapped mountains and buy an ice cream from the cafe. I would sketch and take photos to paint from when I am home in the studio and then we would all hike back down the mountain. A quick walk round the shops because we are addicted to Swiss themed home goods and then back to the chalet to cook dinner. We always have an evening walk around the village just before sun sets and I finish the day sipping coffee on the balcony and watching the stars come out. Coffee and mountains are the most hygge things for me to relax with and Swiss chocolate is the best comfort food!

Thank you so much for sharing that with us, Sevina. I love that you are inspired by Switzerland! Many hygge lovers either found it because of a love for Denmark or Scandinavian countries, or get an interest in them after finding hygge. Sevina’s story shows us that it’s always worth looking further afield. Hygge is a universal concept, with many nations having a unique or personalised approach to it.

Sevina is an artist, as she said. You can find examples of her work on her website,  www.sevinayates.com but be aware that it’s undergoing a domain change and an upgrade, so it might not work at the moment. Keep checking back, though. She’s also to be found on Instagram as @sevinayatesartist for her artwork and @scandichalet for all the hygge moments of her island life . She’s also on Facebook, as well.

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Do you live a hyggely life? Do you love your life? Would you love to share the things that make you happy and keep you balanced with others? It’s quite simple. Cut or copy and answer the questions below in an email and send it to me at hyggejem@gmail.com Put “A Weekend With” in the subject header, and include 2 or 3 photos that show hygge at work in your life. These should be photos you are happy to share on the web, so please, nothing featuring children, or showing addresses or other private information. They will only be used on the blog, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Here are the questions I’d like to know the answers to:

Tell me a little about yourself…. name, location, family

What’s your job title? (paid or unpaid: everybody has a role in life)

When did you first hear about hygge?

What does hygge mean to you?

Tell me about your perfect hygge day… what would you do, who would you be with and where would you spend it?

Would you like to share links to any places on social media? Websites, social media pages etc to do with your life or business, or that you have found particularly helpful in your hygge life?

Write your answers…. long or short… and include a couple of photos, or a quote that you find sums up your attitude to living, and send it to me:

hyggejem@gmail.com

I’ll be featuring as many ordinary people as I can over the next few months: I find it’s the little things that mean hygge to other people that interest me, whether that’s the woods near your home, the bottom of your garden or meeting your best friend for a coffee. There will be people reading who live in cities, villages, in the wilderness. Seeing how different people find ways to live more hyggely is always interesting. I’d be delighted to get to know more about you… I’m looking forward to hearing from you so, please, drop me a line!

Hygge and happiness go so well together. If you’d like to read about the small things that have helped me to be happier, my new book is available from Amazon. Happier  is all about how to use the small details in life to make you happier. You can get it at Amazon. I also think the principles of enjoying life and making the most of small details is an important part of  hygge and that runs through my first few books as well. You can find details about all my books, and how to connect with me on social media on the Start Here page of my blog.

****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.***

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