I spend all day most week days at my desk, typing, filing, phoning and basically staring at a concrete jungle outside. Cars pass, the crossing beeps occasionally and sometimes a fight starts at the pub on the corner. It’s very urban and, apart from the plants on my desk, has no natural elements in it.
Yesterday I had a rare (very rare) day off office work to stay home. Our boiler has been faulty, and yesterday was (we hope) the final day of repairing it. I’ll keep you posted. It’s entirely possible I’ll be back in November complaining again. But, for now, it’s working and I’m just enjoying the novelty of a hot shower without wondering how much the immersion heater will have cost me to heat it, both monetarily and environmentally.
My day wasn’t a day of peace and rest, of course. It was a good day to get some of the jobs I’ve had on my mind done. A thorough cleaning of the upstairs bathroom, setting up a new mop that I got to clean the kitchen floor easily and organising my fresh microfibre cloths around the house in baskets that have been lying around a while waiting to find a purpose.
And I cleaned a lot of windows. I meant to do them last bank holiday weekend, but ended up lying in bed with a chest infection. My kitchen, bathrooms, living room and bedrooms now have clean windows that let the sun in. I had them open all day yesterday, and the combination of a gentle breeze and birdsong made my day’s work more enjoyable. I really savoured my mid-morning coffee, sipped by an open patio door and watching the birds nearby. It made the cleaning more relaxing, once I started again.
Birdsong has that ability. It relaxes people physically, but aids cognitive thinking. I’m not joking. This study by the National Trust found that birdsong is more relaxing than a voiced meditation, while this BBC article shows how its use in hospitals and airports may be an easy way of lowering stress at difficult times. If I was still back in schools, I’d be pushing for a steady background track of birdsong if the natural stuff isn’t available.
Wiping down my windows yesterday, with the garden blackbirds, robin, blue tits and magpies singing in the background, I needed no video or Youtube entertainment. Just to stop occasionally, listen, and breathe.
And then it’s straight back into the office today. A pile of files, a lot of typing to do and my view from my desk. It’s hygge, don’t get me wrong, I don’t feel helpless and stressed when I’m here: I’ve got my water, my candle, my Tea Monkey to keep me company and plenty to do. But today I felt a little too quiet. I really loved sipping coffee to the strains of birdsong and I don’t see why I can’t have that same feeling today at my desk. I’ll let you decide which is better: the top video is my desk without a natural soundtrack. The bottom video is my desk and view with birdsong playing in the background. I know which one I like the sound of. Youtube Birdsong video bookmarked, coffee made and I’m ready for 10 minutes of slow living before, during and after work.
The header today is a shot of my desk just as it is. The candle is a St Eval Sea Salt large Coastal Collection candle, the tea monkey came from Etsy and the plants add just enough green to calm me, with enough soil to let me have a touch of whimsey with a gnome!
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. It always feels good if you get a book back in return for some money. 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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