Every time I see beautiful orange leaves falling from the trees I am reminded that even the trees are letting go, beginning anew. I enjoy starting new and nourishing routines in the Fall. We are ready to nest, get cozy, do less, and go inward as the days get darker. I like to think we are gettin' hygge with it.
Hygge (hoo-gah) goes far in illuminating the Danish soul. In essence, hygge means creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people. The warm glow of candlelight is hygge. Cozying up with a loved one for a movie – that’s hygge, too. And there's nothing more hygge than sitting around with friends and family, discussing the big and small things in life. Perhaps hygge explains why the Danes are some of the happiest people in the world.
I've compiled a list of things that I love to do in the Fall and have accompanied them with the hygge manifesto, as per The Little Book of Hygge. Everything from routines, tea, recipes, DIY crafts, books, and what to eat in the bath. I hope you find some inspiration, comfort, and treat yourself well this season.
Comfort: Bundle up. Get Cozy. Its all about relaxation
Pull out your most comfortable pants, wool socks, slippers, scarves, and sweaters. Empty out the closet of summer clothes and stack it up with everything textured, warm and pretty much everything can be layered together. Add big comfy blankets to your couch and make sure your favorite candle is lit. Not just for special occasions, truly for mood lighting and pure sensory enjoyment. Create a nook that you can retreat to.
Atmosphere: Turn down the lights.
Stock up on candles, bath salts and teas
I don't feel like this one needs much explanation. Here are my favorite concoctions:
- Serenitea (or ANY of her Teas) by Survivewell
- Put a few drops of essential oils in your Epsom salts before adding them to your bath (just make sure they are okay for topical use)
- Speaking of baths: turn off the lights and light your candles, get the bubbles and rubber duckies out, a good book or audiobook, and maybe some snacks. I'm a big fan of chocolate and red wine, however, someone tagged me in a photo the other week because they had their Honey Tobacco Candle lit and they were eating pie in the bath. It was very inspiring.
Presence: Be here now. Turn off the phone.
Get creative or crafty of whatever you want to call it
Growing up, my mom was always working on some creative project: pottery, knitting, rug hooking, making chairs, clothes, and blankets, Halloween costumes.. it still goes on. Being creative was always encouraged in my family and I am very grateful for that. My brother built his first drum kit out of plastic pales at 6 years old, and I think it all started shortly after that with Jazzy Jewelry for me. I still have creative hobbies that I go to when I need some time to myself: pottery, cooking weaving, and painting. When the days are darker its a good time to get cozy and do the things that make you happy.
If you want some inspiration, check out the Cashmere & Plaid DIY blog. It's my favorite.
"'Hyggelig’ can mean to comfort oneself, or to be reflective. We believe it’s really important for us to allow ourselves time to idle, to dream, and to ponder…find a time and space where you can allow your spirit to catch up with your mind"
Sarah Lou Fracis, Clemintne Daily
Book a tarot or astrology reading
I know tarot isn't for everyone, and that's okay. It's not exactly in the hygge manifesto but what I get from tarot is self-reflection, awareness, and connection. Tarot is a way to open up the pathway in which you can hear and trust your intuition.
If you don't already have a reader that you like, here's a woman I love: Tegan Forbes. Based out of Vancouver, she can give you a reading in person or through Skype. She has a really wonderful way of finding connection and understanding the meanings in the cards to guide you through what comes up.
Pleasure: Coffee, chocolate, cookies, stews...
Make nourishing food for yourself, and don't shy away from treats and baked goods.
I enjoy taking the time to cook a slow meal. Cooking is very calming and clearing for me. When my hands are busy it's easier for my mind to focus on the present moment. Play some music, light a candle (obviously) and I dare you to create something without a recipe. But just in case that usually proves to be a disaster in your house, here are a few of my favorite recipes from Pinterest. I've already made the pumpkin pie squares twice...Next stop: the bathtub.
Victoria Locals: If you are out and about and need some comfort on the go, I swear by these meals:
- Bone broth from Nourish
- Chicken Penne Soup from Ferris'
- Chowder from Fishhook
Equality: "We" over "me". Share the tasks & airtime
Sharing the experiences you have with someone you care about is a big part of Danish life. There are 3 points in the manifesto that all go well together: Equality, Togetherness, and Harmony.
Harmony: It's not a competition. We already like you. There is no need to brag about your achievements
Togetherness: Build relationships and narratives
Reach out to a friend and schedule regular hangouts.
Right now, I meet with a book club on Monday nights and I have been meeting with my friend Kimberly every Thursday morning before work for 3 years now. We gather to openly share our lives. No gossip, no competing, a lot of listening. These quality relationships are so valuable, uplifting and nurturing.
It's also been a lifesaver during the months when its dark and rainy and you don't want to leave your house and then you realize you've been hermitting for weeks and you're out of Netflix shows. We've all been there. It feels really good to get pulled out of funks.
Gratitude: Take it in. This might be as good as it gets
Restorative or slow flow yoga
ooooohh it feels soo good. If the darker days don't give you much motivation to work with, this is your answer. Check out Tracey Noseworthy's classes, in person or online. You will not regret it.
Adopting the practice of the 'morning pages' from The Artists Way, I highly recommend this. Nothing about it has to be perfect, simply note your thoughts, observances, questions, queries, etc. You can also try the practice of writing 3 things you were grateful for every day. No matter how small or big, try to recollect on three things a day.
Truce: No Drama. Let's discuss politics another day.
In order to live a life of happiness, there must be positive energy and tranquility. If you are finding it difficult to get certain things off your mind:
Get lost in another life through reading
I've already re-read the entire collection of Harry Potter earlier this spring so I won't be doing that again this fall (however, I highly recommend it).
This is my current Fall reading list, to be read, re-read, or have already read.
- The Little Book of Hygge, Meik Wiking
- Witches of New York, Ami Mckay
- The Signature of All Things, Elizabeth Gilbert
- The Clockmakers Daughter, Kate Morton
- A Gathering of Ghosts, Robin Skelton & Jean Kozacari
- Something in the Water, Catherine Steadman
- November Road, Louis Berney
- Anything from Book of the Month Club
If you have a great book recommendation please leave it in the comments below!
Shelter: This is your tribe. This is your place of peace and security
Create hygge at home and when you travel
First and foremost, create hygge in your home by bringing in some of the above-mentioned practices. When you are looking to get away, see if you can find places that exude hygge too. Of course, it would be amazing to head somewhere hot, but if you want a weekend adventure, here are my favorite PNW destinations:
Get hygge with it.
I hope this has been helpful for you, thanks for reading all the way down here, and I encourage you to embrace the hygge lifestyle by creating moments that feel good, are cozy and nourishing on every level.