How is it the end of January already?
And how have I been so busy elsewhere that I’ve only written 2 or 3 posts? Actually, that’s easy. I’ve been working in the office, catching up on the post-Christmas rush, and also gained a couple of pupils to tutor. I may only teach them in 1 hour sessions, but the preparation, travelling and time allocated to make sure I’m at home/at their house in time to start means that an hour long lesson really takes up two hours of my time.
I’m also writing my new book (hush, don’t ask what it’s about) so some time this month has been spent thinking through the structure, starting the introduction and actually getting something down on paper. I’m giving myself 9 months to birth a book, so hopefully it will be available some time around September.
But for now, I’m back in the moment and it seemed like a good time to remind everybody that 28th February is officially International Hygge Day. It’s a Monday this year, but I’ll still be having a hyggely time in my office, probably having cake with my morning coffee, enjoying Quiz Monday with my husband and definitely, definitely creeping to bed early and reading a book.
So, in preparation, I thought why not spend a few minutes every day working out what hygge means to me. A Month of Hygge Happiness in the form of lists, because writing lists is easy, adaptable and lets me record what I like now, which is always interesting to look back on in a few year’s time.
I’m not a big fan of Do This For Hygge lists, because what’s hygge to me may not be hygge to you (I know the blog is called How to Hygge, but I hope I never usually give orders or set out must do lists, so much as tell you what I do or give you inspiration, and let you work your own preferred system out) so these are the titles of my lists for you to use and write your own lists. I might write my lists out on the blog at a later date, but what I usually do is take a few minutes at the beginning of the day to journal. Five to ten items per list is well enough; some of them are ambitions, others I already do/have. I’d love to know if you’re joining in, so post on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #MonthOfHygge and #InternationalHyggeDay so we can all enjoy seeing how different people hygge in different ways.
- What Does Hygge Mean to You? List at least 5 words that form part of hygge or that have a hygge feeling for you.
- Who Makes You Feel Most Hyggely? Family? Friends? Pets? Real people or virtual?
- What are your Top Hygge Memories? What makes them so hygge? The people? The location? The activity or something else?
- What Does a Perfect Hygge Day Look Like? List the activities/inactivities that would make your day perfect hygge.
- Where in the World Do You Feel Most Hyggely? Is it your own home town, or a nearby one? Or have you felt most hyggely in a distant vacation location?
- What Are Your Favourite Hygge Drinks? What makes them cosy… is it a memory of Grandma or favourite Uncle, or that you always have them when you go to a friend’s house?
- Which Foods just Ooze Hygge for You? Is there a common link between them, or are they an eclectic mix of tastes and styles?
- Name 5 Times Nature Made You Go Wow! Awe and wonder make every day a marvellous experience. When was the last time Nature made you feel like a small part of a marvellous world.
- Where do you love to go and experience Nature? Are the locations near or far? How often do you visit them?
- How Can You Bring Nature Inside? Are you a great Plant Mother, or is Nature better off in rock or wood form inside your house?
- Describe Your Favourite Hygge Clothes. What makes them so comfortable?
- List Your Top Hygge TV Programmes or Films. Do they share a genre, or are they eclectic? Are there any common features amongst them?
- List Your Top Hygge Reads, past or present. Do you know why they make you feel hygge? Is it memories of when you read them, the content or the characters within?
- Make Hygge Playlists. Choose the music that makes you feel happy, relaxed, melancholic. Don’t limit yourself to one list: have one for each mood.
- How can you make your work in or out of the home more hyggely? Do you need to add meaningful objects, take time to do things or learn to enjoy what you already have?
- Which Moments in your Day Need a Hygge Boost? How can you add this? Will it take time, money or just awareness as you go about your business?
- Name your Top Hygge Coffee Shops or Tea Rooms Ever. Are they nearby? Do they still exist? Have you got a favourite coffee shop you can still visit?
- Which Spots in Your Home are the Most Hyggely? What makes them cosy and comfy? Do you need some more? If you can’t name any, can you create some?
- What Could You Do Today to Help Someone Else Feel Hyggely? Random acts of kindness, helping people find time to pause and sharing memories can all build hygge.
- How Can You Build or Find Community Hygge in Your Life? Do you belong to any clubs, organisations or groups that encourage hygge or that could benefit from hygge? Could you volunteer in a local hospice or care home? Could a playgroup benefit from your hygge influence?
- List the Websites that Make You Feel Most Hyggely. Look for the links, or the topics in common. Again, is there a common link they all have?
- Which Podcasts Do You Find Useful for Hyggering? Yes, even a political podcast can be hygge if you like listening to it and discussing politics with a friend. But I expect most lists will include lifestyle podcasts rather than politics.
- Which Crafts, Sports or Activities Make You Feel Hyggely? Finding your flow and losing track of time is usually a good sign that an activity puts you in a relaxed and happy place.
- Which Seasonal Hygge Are You Most Looking Forward to? I could have done this one as four separate lists, but some activities stretch over a couple of seasons (planting bulbs is both an Autumn and a Spring pleasure) so it’s better to have one big seasons list for this list exercise.
- What Hygge Activities have You Planned for This Year? Have you planned a vacation, a theatre trip, meals out, picnics, mountain rambles or what? Write a list of all the hygge things (food, craft, letters) you intend to do this year.
- Create a Bucket List of Hygge. What hygge activities do you really want to do, but never have? Which hygge towns or countries are on your bucket list? Is there a job you think is totally hygge but don’t do yet? Compile a hygge bucket list so when the chance arises you can tick it off with a big grin.
- Reflect On This Month: Make a List of The Activities that you have enjoyed. Gratitiude is always a big part of hygge, because appreciating the hygge you have is a great mood booster.
- How Are You Marking International Hygge Day? I’ll be making a great big pot of spaghetti bolognese, enjoying a relaxed meal with my family, watching Quiz Monday and then probably cosying down with a good book. After a hyggely day in work, of course, with mid-morning coffee and cake, and candles lit all day. All recorded on my Instagram, Twitter and Facebook and hashtagged #MonthOfHygge and #InternationalHyggeDay
I hope those journal prompts help you to identify your hygge in February. Even if they only get you thinking and not writing, they will have worked although making a short list always helps me focus on what’s important.
And enjoy International Hygge Day on 28th February! I’ll be writing more posts before then, of course I will, but mark it in your diary now and get ready to hygge!
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:
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. The New Year may not be the best time for resolutions, but a reset of rituals and a resuming of routines is not a bad idea after a month of Christmas. The book has small and easy ways to make your life flow with grace and happiness, which lead to more hygge.
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. And it’s always the little things.
Available as just an ebook, and a short, sharp read, is Enjoying a Self-Care Christmas: Easy Ways to keep the Joy of Christmas, and your Sanity, intact. It’s an easy read, with ideas and hints to keep you sane through the Christmas season. I have plans to follow it up shortly with a Self-Care Winter, but I really need to grab my sanctuary plans and run with them to create a writing nest.
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.
If you’ve enjoyed this article, don’t forget to share it or save it so others can enjoy reading, thinking about and living hygge as well.
The regular photo I’m currently using between text and my book promotions is a photo by Rinck Content Studio on Unsplash. I love the implied cosiness of the photograph: the two hot chocolate cups, the biscuits and squares of chocolate imply a good bit of chatting going on here. Plus I like the colours: red tartan and real wood. What’s not to like? And the post header is by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash. I chose it because it’s a woman writing lists, naturally, but also because the long cardigan sleeve pulled over the hand is so me.