In Italy everyone asks me how I could leave Valencia, its beach and its sun, a city where winter lasts just one month and you can be several months without any rain, for Modena. Here the winter is long and hard. The fog may not let you see the sun for several days. The rain can last for weeks. There is snow only sometimes, so when it snows people forget how to drive and everything becomes chaotic, the ice on the ground during the winter is very common.
What few people know is that long before I came here I lived in a place much colder than this one. In a small Dutch village called Voorschoten. And there I survived during the winter thanks to a way of life that I did not know then but, it has a lot to do with a Danish philosophy called Hygge.
As in Denmark, the climate of the Netherlands does not invite to happiness, but they practice the philosophy of Wellbeing (it is more or less what we can translate by Hygge) dedicating time to small details that make the days more special and warm. The essence of Hygge lies in creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the small good things in life with the people we love.
I have sweet memories of Holland. Every week a bouquet of flowers was bought to decorate the house ... at sunset sometimes we lit some candles ... as it ALWAYS rains and it is cold, the weather does not invite to walks without direction, but it was usual to receive almost every day surprise visits from neighbors who brought sweets... We stopped during the day several times to take tea, what became the day less stressful.
All those memories surpass all the things that made life difficult; It was hard for me to learn the language and that made it difficult to make friends. At that time there was no skype, no whatsup, no Fb, so I missed so many people. A growing addiction to chocolate caused my size to increase a lot.
Time passed away and later I have lived in many other cities, but I always try to put a little bit of Hygge in my life so that everything becomes a little more pleasant and happy.
These are the ten tips to put Hygge in your life:
1) Turn off the lights and light the candles.
For the same reason you turn them on to celebrate birthdays, turn them on to celebrate an intimate and special moment of the day after work.
2) Choose warm lamps that relax.
Warm points of light scattered throughout the house will make your home more comforting.
3) Create your hideout.
Choose a small place in the house and make it yours and special; with a warm blanket, a comfortable cushion. Your place to relax, enjoy a good book, music or a simple tea.
4) Surround yourself with objects with meaning.
To make your home a place to take refuge from work and the hostile outside world there must be details with meaning: a warm blanket woven by your grandmother, a favorite mug where to have a coffee, a special notebook where to take notes or where to write a diary ...
4) Do not make appointment just to have lunch, but also to cook.
The essence of Hygge is to make the daily routine of each day special. It is not the same to cook in a hurry just to have the food ready at a special hour, or cook dinner together.
6) Keep the connection with nature.
Consume seasonal foods, so that the meals vary during the months and thus celebrate the change of season. Do not stay locked up at home, do not be afraid of the cold; Enjoy the walks, the rain, a coffee on the balcony. (Remember that the flu is not spread in open spaces, but when we are together in enclosed spaces with the viruses.
7) Get comfortable and create a good atmosphere.
Soft house slippers, a warm sweater, a hot chocolate to watch a movie. Place the tablecloth and set the table even if you are going to eat alone.
8) Spend quality time.
It contributes to create memories and experiences. Organize one day a month to play board games with friends, prepare cookies with your children.
9) Avoid everything that can break that state of relaxation.
It is not about avoiding conversations in which you can not agree and that generate tension if not to disconnect the mobile and forget the video games. Turn off the TV. Try not to take your work home. Leave stress outside and enjoy your refuge
10) Things work better in “Petit Comitè”.
Have appointments with small groups of friends with whom you can enjoy the conversation better without creating several groups. Everything will be more relaxing.
You can find several books about Hygge to go deeper into this philosophy. With Atipik Fabrik we try every day to create special objects to make a more beautiful world. Paper objects that give us some distance from the technology, to rediscover the pleasure of the handwriting. Illustrations with stories that will have for someone a special meaning and convert a mug into that indispensable one to face a Monday morning.