When we think of hygge, we often think of the perfect nights that are only too easy to find on Pinterest. You know what I’m talking about – with the softest blankets, warm food, hot tea, and a cuddle buddy (animal, person, or stuffed animal). But how come these nights feel like they’re few and far apart? With our fast-paced Canadian lives, by the time we get around to having a hyggelig, self-care night to ourselves, we’re too tired and fall asleep during meditation, if we can even get to meditating. I realize the last time I remember having a night like this was a month ago watching Baywatch with my mom and sister. Here are some of my leading causes for lack of hygge and how to improve your experience.
(1) YOU HAVE YOUR BLOODY PHONE ON YOU.
You could be having the coziest night with a loved one relaxing and then all of a sudden,
It’s the vibrate calling you. You know that’s it’s probably nothing but what if it’s something important like an Instagram update or a Facebook Messenger of your squad talking about something random? NO. NO NO NO. Smartphones are great for when you want to look something up or show a photo of your adorable dogs (guilty as charged), but that’s about it. People often get annoyed with me because they can’t get ahold of me, but it’s because I don’t look at my phone or register its existence when I’m with someone. I understand that others pull out their phones because it’s hard not to. I do the same at moments, but it’s like a muscle – the more you exercise it, the better you get at it. Actively think about how you use your phone and recognize that in hygge, there’s no real place for cell phones.
(2) You have a scatter-brain.
I worry about this next point because I feel like people are becoming more and more distracted and worried about all the things they need to do. We, as a Canadian society, are having a hard time connecting in the present moment. It’s why they teach you in meditation to recognize when you’ve been distracted, note it, and always come back to the breath – the real present moment. Many of hygge’s best qualities are about being in the present moment because that’s where the best parts of life are.
This point always reminds me of something my old band teacher Mr. Brandon told my class that stuck with me. He would always remind us to check in on our feelings and ask ourselves why we are stressed. Most times, it’s because we are either thinking of something in the past or in the future. When you can recognize that, you realize that there’s nothing negative going on in the present moment. I admit that 98% of my anxiety is from those two places – the past and the future. When I hone in on the present, on the hygge of life, my quality of life becomes so much better.
I am the most prominent advocate for time management and always will be. When people make fun of me, I don’t apologize for it. When I was in university, I was forced to learn how to time manage because I wasn’t very good at writing academic papers and I needed extra time with every essay to revise and edit. I would literally finish an entire piece a week early so that I could have the remaining week to go through drafts and drafts of edits and significant restructuring. I admit I was always a bit bummed out when I would get a B on those papers while my friends with no time management got an A. Looking back now, I’m happy about the time-management skills I learned. To me, those skills are more critical to know than understanding a paper about oral epic poetry.
This relates to hygge because we need to make time for it. We, as hyggelig Canadians, need to make time to do nothing, to go out for lunch with a friend, and to watch that Harry Potter movie that plays on TV without worrying about what we’re not doing. If you’re able to plan out your hygge time (just like planning on going to the gym), anxiety decreases, and your quality of life gets better. This also means that you’re also able to plan out when you work and hustle so you can also get your hyggelig time in. 🙂
How do you get better at hygge? Let me know!