Now I can only speak for myself, but 2017 has been quite a challenging year. Personally and professionally. I lost my father rather suddenly this year to Pancreatic cancer, which honestly still doesn't seem real and is really hard to wrap my head around. He literally got sick and was gone 2 weeks later.
And while I celebrated my 10th year of being in business, and that was quite a milestone, I also went through several professional challenges that really made me stop and question and/or re-think a lot of things. It was quite stressful to say the least. And of course there is all that’s going on out there in the “real” world. No matter your station in life or politics, you have to admit there has been a lot of suffering reported to us here at home and around the globe in 2017.
It can all get to be way too much.
Enter the concept of hygge.
Pronounced HOO-Ga, it’s definition is somewhat fluid it seems based on who you ask. The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking tells us that it’s about an atmosphere and an experience, rather than about things. It’s about being with the people we love. A feeling of home. A feeling that we are safe, that we are shielded from the world and allow ourselves to let our guard down. There’s also many elements that contribute to this concept…things like a lit fireplace, candles, cozy sweaters and socks, the sounds of nature, comfort food and even the lighting and types of furnishings in your home all contribute to how “hyggelig” or hygge-like your life is.
I’ve read three books on this subject recently:
“The Little Book of Hygge" and “The Little Book of Lykke” by Meik Wiking and “Lagom (Not too little, not too much)” by Niki Brantmark. It’s all extremely appealing and makes me want to sit down with another cup of coffee and turn off my phone forever! As spa professionals we love to read and learn about all things in the self-care genre. I’ve spent literally more than 12 years constantly striving to learn more about how to take care of ones health and well being, studying everything from skin health, holistic beauty, relaxation and massage techniques to food and diet. But reading about hygge makes me ask myself, do we really practice what we preach? I would venture to say that the “non-spa” population would be surprised at how many estheticians and massage therapists don’t take the steps to self-care that we are so educated about even though we are constantly recommending specific self-care to clients.
I originally started learning about hygge so that I could incorporate it into a winter event at the spa. It seems like a fun and cute theme for a January party, especially when Christmas has passed and we’re heading into the coldest and greyest part of the year. But the more I learn about hygge, to more I realize I need it more on a daily basis. Over the past few days I have let some of my chores slide and laid in bed a little longer. I’ve done some leisure reading and I’ve certainly had some comfort food. With the cold snap we’re having right now it’s pretty easy to enjoy a cozy warm blanket and some flannel pjs. The challenge will be when the slow winter season gives way to the busy spring and summer and beyond.
In the spa we we have plans to focus even more on creating a hyggelig experience for our guests. From the atmosphere and surroundings to the little details of our treatments. On the home front I plan to spend more more of my downtime actually “disconnected” to the world and spend that time paying attention to the sounds, sights, tastes, smells and feelings of hygge around me. If this year has taught me anything, it’s the importance of slowing down and enjoying life a little and seeing and appreciating all the wonderful things right in front of me.
What’s your hygge-factor like right now? Do you have any habits or traditions that are hyggelig? Drop me a line and let me know, we can have a “hyggesnak” (a chitchat or cozy conversation) about it…..