What Hygge Means to Me

Hgygge is the concept of the moment whose principles have had meaning to horse people since recorded time. We just didn’t know it.

Hygge - pronounced Hue-gah in English is a Danish word that describes a mental state of happiness, contentment and togetherness in the heart of winter.

Hygge is not directly translatable into the English language. Pity.

Every time we enjoy a hot shower, or a warm cup of coffee and wrap up in a blanket, after doing our chores, morning or night, in the winter, we experience Hygge. I have often tried to describe this elusive quality to my family and now it has a name.

The feeling of putting your hands under your horse’s warm blanket or in their fur to warm up, or wrapping yourself in a cozy cooler is one we know and love so well, that is hygge

Even though we’ve all been familiar with this idea for all of our horse lives, I thought about what this means to me as I bring this feeling into my life as a stroke patient.

The first and most important is the atmosphere - start a hygge nook for yourself even if it’s just a cozy chair. If it looks over the landscape, even better. A place to relax, read a book or a magazine, or just look at the lovely pictures if that’s all you can do. A comfy foot stool, warm socks, a throw blanket, and you’re well on your way! Add a candle - I’ve recently discovered the flameless faux candles and boy are they wonderful! I can have candlelight whenever I want it - even breakfast - no mess, and no worries about accidentally leaving it burning, or knocking it over. Mix in some long underwear - easy to get in and out of -put on some relaxing music and maybe some comforting food cooked- by someone special - in the crockpot, and sip your favorite hot beverage. You can even play cards - good for coordination and counting as in scoring, watch movies, play games, or decorate the tree as a family. You can even entertain by having a potluck, with everyone bringing their signature dish - no fuss, no muss! The joy of togetherness is the key. Over consumption, awkward conversation, fluorescent lighting and stress are definitely not hygge!

So embrace the idea of hygge and improve your health with reduced stress and more contentment.

I have noticed that since I’ve come to this way of thinking, I’m much more relaxed about the changing of the seasons, and that’s a good thing! I will be trying to bring as many of these concepts as I can into my own life. Wish me luck.

Whatever hygge means to you it is in the feeling of small everyday moments that make you happy. Because the simplest lovely moments in life, like companionship, comfort, and love are free!


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