I read an article a while ago that talked about a particular country being rated as having the happiest people in the world and it made me think everyone can learn something from what they do.
Interestingly the country rated with the happiest people in the world is a place where the sun shines fewer than seven hours during the height of the winter solstice, which no doubt can stir depressive and shut in feelings. In the midst of this, the concept of a cozy place, full of love and enjoyment seems to what they recommend as the the antidote to people’s feelings of sadness and dreariness.
They call this concept hygge and it’s considered the major weapon in combating the dreary darkness that befalls countries over the winter when everyone is shut in, cold and often isolated.
Hygge (pronounced ‘hooga’) translates into English as ‘cosiness’. The term comes from a Norwegian word meaning “well being” In essence it means creating a warm, comfortable atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life. The warm glow of candlelight, or my personal favourite – fairy lights is an example of hygge.
“Hygge could be enjoying a meal with the lights dimmed or time spent on your own reading a good book, playing or listening to music, a movie at home snuggled up or enjoying a hobby. “Hygge works best when there’s not too large a space around the person or people.” The idea is to relax and feel as at home as possible; forgetting life’s worries.
Eating home-made cinnamon pastries. Yum! Watching TV under a doona, tea served in your best china, your favourite coffee in a mug, family get-togethers; they’re all hygge (cosiness) too.
In a time when many are in isolation and quarantine I think practising Hygge is especially important. It’s all about being creative and finding ways to bring cosiness and connection when it may not be easy or even obvious how. To stay connected and in touch with what makes you feel cosy, and to make an effort to generate and be purposeful about enjoying and making special our connections and occasions, even in extenuating circumstances. To be kind to ourselves and others and essentially expressing love; and so I think Jesus himself loves the idea of Hygge. – cosiness.
All through the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) we see Jesus sharing meals together with others. We see Him feeding everyone at a picnic, of telling stories and doing life with others. He embraced and loved every single person He who came to Him, and desired them to know Him and be part of His “family”. Sounds pretty Hygge to me.
Jesus said it this way, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35)
Today why not embrace the concept of “Hygge”. Get cosy and adopt Jesus’ way of love and doing life. Give yourself a hug, eat something yummy, spoil and be kind to yourself, and then be kind to someone else too.
Prayer: Lord we may feel disconnected right now from others but we are never disconnected from you. Please show me some creative ways to bring some hygge into mine and others world today. In Jesus name Amen.