I know hygge has no rules… because it’s a very personal thing and what makes me feel hyggely may well be what makes you feel antipathy… but there are certain things that act as guidelines. Not fixed, immovable rules, but ideas that can help, especially if at a certain point in your life you’ve just hit a brick wall of chaos or doubt that has got you double guessing yourself. We all work better if we can take a step back and look at what’s blindsided us, even better if we can remove that from our path and better still if we can step over the obstacles and keep going. Living a hyggely life includes living a life where we can handle stresses gracefully and with humour.
These are very often the little gems of wisdom your Granny gave you along with a Werthers when someone at school had been mean, or the sympathetic wisdom a friend passed on when your second boyfriend chucked you. They might be the lines you read in a self-help book in your twenties that actually make sense now, or the words you heard from your children when they were playing together. And they will definitely be the thoughts that your heart, head and soul have lived by and that you turn to when global pandemic strikes, or other disaster hits.
This post will grow and grow, because I full intend to keep coming back to it and adding more as and when I think of them. It’s not a comprehensive list, but an active reminder. We grow, we learn, we adapt and we grow again. That’s life. And the advice we need now may not be the advice we need in six month’s time. That means some of the guidelines may contradict others. That’s why they’re guidelines and not rules. They’re not to be blindly followed, but considered and kept to hand. I won’t have been able to put every hygge thought on here, but hopefully I’ll eventually have enough that, in any situation, there’ll be something of use to someone (especially me, in my worst moments).
General Advice for Life
- Life is better when you have a clear conscience and are free to enjoy a few minutes rest.
- A life devoid of purpose can be one that is free of joy as well. Find your Why, and do it.
- Work well, rest often.
- More haste, less speed is a wise saying because it is true. Slow down when you walk to enjoy the sun, the sky, the trees or just the feel of your feet on the ground.
- Perfectionism is not a virtue. Good enough will do, if it’s the best you can do given the time/activity/skills you have.
- It is impossible to cry when sucking chocolate..
- A lit candle goes with pretty much every action in life: work, rest or play.
- Gratitude goes a long way to making the hardest days pass quickly.
- Sometimes it is as good to be the one being helped as to always be the helper.
- Listen much, think much and speak little.
- Balance, lagom, daily bread. Just enough is a good amount.
- If you get given more than you need, pass it on. This works for cake as well as money and smiles.
- Sometimes the only company you need is yourself. Don’t be afraid to ask for solitude.
- Life isn’t perfect, but it is good if you believe it is so. Recognise the problems, seek for solutions and enjoy what’s inbetween.
- Use your own brain to work out what is right for you and then follow it, even if everyone else is heading in the opposite direction.
- Comparisons are always bad things to make.
- LIfe is not always hearts and flowers. And that’s no bad thing. We need the rough to appreciate the smooth and sometimes hardship makes us into stronger, better people.
Homemaking, Housework and Hearth Truths
- Housework, done correctly, can be a great anger management tool.
- Good enough will always beat not done at all.
- There are few things more restorative than sinking into an already made bed at the end of a day. Make your bed every morning.
- A house doesn’t have to be minimalist, but it does have to be clutter free.
- A clean home cures many sadnesses.
- Having a cake in the house ready for friends is a good thing.
- There are very few problems that can’t be made easier over a cup of coffee or tea, even if they can’t be completely sorted.
- Organise your sock drawer.
- Use moments of your day to be mindful: making coffee, washing your hands, brushing your teeth.
- Have a corner of your home that is yours and yours alone. Even if it angers the cat.
- Caring for any living thing is good for you, but you will probably get a better return on your investment from the cat or dog than the teenage children.
- Home is not the bricks and mortar place but the feelings you have when you are there. The experience of coming home is yours to believe in wherever you are.
- You should never be embarrassed to let people into your home, even if it needs a clean and a tidy. True friends never notice dust: absolute heroes help you clean it up.
- The quantity or quality of the food will always feel better if the company is good. Stale popcorn with a good friend is better than the best caviar with an enemy.
- Office work is easier when you can stop long enough to smell the coffee.
- Nobody has to work every hour of the day. Give your self permission to turn off notifications on your phone and in your head and go have a rest.
- A cake to share makes a work day more human.
- The why of work can sometimes be as powerful as the how.
- Whatever your job is, do the best you can in the time available. After that, it’s up to the Bosses whether they need to give you more time, or get someone else to do it.
- If you were really into office politics, wouldn’t you have become a politician?
- Keep a plant on your desk. The relationship is mutually beneficial.
- Nobody is absolutely excellent at everything. Recognise your strengths and work to them…
- That said, don’t limit yourself by underestimating your power. As a trusted colleague or friend what skills you have but often overlook.
- Use time management systems to improve your workflow what ever you work as. Don’t let them rule you, though.
- Keep work and home separate, even if only in your head. When you leave the desk behind, even if you work from home, you owe nobody nothing. Go, live your life.
- A good waterproof coat is better than gold. Find one, buy it and use it often.
- Find an outside spot and enjoy it.
- Spend at least ten minutes every day in the fresh air.
- Hang wind chimes near to a window where you can hear them. Use them as a reminder to breathe.
- Sometimes the best thing to do is find a body of water and get wet. Sea, lake, river or puddle, it may not matter.
- Watching a birdtable is a great way to meditate.
- Food eaten outdoors needs no hoover.
- There is nowhere in the human body that is a completely straight line. Get out and embrace nature’s curves as well as your own.
- A campfire or firepit is the best therapy couch for a teenager. Make sure they get regular sessions.
- Cathedrals are Man’s attempt to recreate a forest. Why bother? Get out into the trees and enjoy the oxygen.
- Planting trees is a firm an expression of hope in the future as anyone can make.
Have I missed the best advice you could give everyone out? Comment below and tell me, or get in touch on Twitter, Insta or Facebook. I’ll happily add it.
The header today is a Photo by Etienne Girardet on Unsplash. I chose it because it’s a useful piece of advice: we should be able to hygge without feeling fear, even if only for that moment. Hygge is so often about creating a safe space where the fears and worries of the world can be set aside by ourselves and others before we go back out into them. Sometimes I think we risk forgetting that and think that we can be happy/safe/secure every moment of every day. That’s not true. Embrace the problems, feel no fear and face the future.
How to Hygge the British Way is my gift to the world. I don’t get paid for writing it, I’m not in it for the kudos, financial rewards, to become an influencer, work with brands or otherwise make any money from the blog. That’s why there are no ads, and any products I mention and recommend have either been gifted to me or bought by me with my everyday wages or donations from supporters. Every book I review has been bought and read by me, unless stated otherwise.
I do get a couple of pennies each time someone buys from the Amazon links on my page, as an Amazon Affiliate, but otherwise if you’d like to support me, I like to give something back in return. That’s why I write books. You can find a full list of my books at my Author’s Page on Amazon, but especially recommended for this time of year are:
Happier: Probably my most personal book, it’s the story of how I used hygge and the little things in life to help boost my happiness. I still go back and reread to remind myself what I need to do to be a happy human.
Cosy Happy Hygge: Setting up a rhythm to life and rituals to enjoy it to make for a more balanced life that handles waves and storms better.
How to Hygge Your Summer: Hygge isn’t just about candles, throws and fireside cuppas (if indeed it is ever actually about them) and this book gives you ideas for creating hygge ready spaces and paces of life throughout the summer.
If you’d like to support me, but don’t want to buy a book, I have a Paypal.Me account as Hygge Jem. Every little helps, so even a few pence goes towards the books, goods and courses I use and recommend on the site. I’m grateful for every little bit that brings me closer to my dream of full-time writing, and I know I couldn’t still be writing if it weren’t for the support of many readers and friends out there. Thank you all for every little bit of support, emotional, physical and financial, you give me.
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