In his compelling Opinion essay titled "We Have Become a Lonely Nation. It’s Time to Fix That," Dr. Vivek H. Murthy, the Surgeon General of the United States, sheds light on the pressing health challenges of social isolation and loneliness that are pervading American society. With his deep understanding of public health, Dr. Murthy emphasizes the need to recognize social connection as a fundamental pillar of well-being, likening it to a vital nutrient for the human soul.
In a world driven by constant hustle, political chaos (not to mention the disruptions caused by a global pandemic) it's really no surprise that loneliness has become a prevalent concern. We applaud Dr Murthy's call for a national framework to rebuild social connection and community in America. But there's also some simple steps that can offer solace and connection and it doesn't require waiting for the nation to join in: Embracing Hygge as a lifestyle. Originating from Denmark, Hygge (pronounced hoo-gah) is all about finding joy in life's simple pleasures and creating an atmosphere of coziness and togetherness. In this blog post we'll explore some Hygge tips that can be powerful tools to help combat loneliness and create a warm sense of belonging.
Create a Cozy Sanctuary
The heart of Hygge lies in crafting a comfortable and inviting environment. Think soft blankets, warm lighting, and plush cushions that beckon you to unwind. Set up a cozy reading nook or a serene space where you can enjoy a cup of tea. By surrounding yourself with comfort, you'll naturally feel more at ease and content.
Hygge encourages the nourishing bonds of connection. Invite friends over for a homemade dinner. What's the difference between a hygge dinner and a dinner party? According to Hygge Gathering, the objective differs.
"With a dinner party, the goal is entertaining guests. To show off our home, space, abilities as a host. And while this is all good, there is nothing inherently wrong with hosting a dinner party, a Hygge dinner has a different objective. A hygge dinner is not simply about entertaining; it IS about meaningful connection."
Savor Culinary Delights
You can experience hygge collectively amidst a thoughtfully arranged tablescape, or through unpretentiousness, unplanned moments, All you need is a shared inclination to savor each other's company.
Indulging in delicious homemade meals is a cornerstone of Hygge. Cook comfort foods that evoke nostalgia and warmth. Baking treats, simmering soups, or enjoying a cheese platter can be a form of self-care that sparks feelings of happiness and contentment.
Need inspiration? Delish has 19 Hygge-Inspired Recipes For When You're Craving Comfort Food
As we establish a strong connection to our surroundings and cultivate a profound sense of belonging, the likelihood of relishing robust health, lasting happiness, and enhanced mental well-being significantly amplifies. Hygge gatherings serve as a conduit for embracing a life of holistic contentment.
Engage in meaningful conversations and create cherished memories. The joy of shared moments can alleviate feelings of isolation and strengthen your social network.
Unplug and Be Present
In a world dominated by screens, it's vital to disconnect and be present in the moment. Engage in activities that require your full attention, such as painting, knitting, or playing board games. Being absorbed in these activities can help reduce feelings of loneliness and enhance your overall well-being.
Spending time in nature is a proven antidote to loneliness. Go for a walk in a local park, have a picnic by the water, or simply sit under the stars. If you're lucky enough to live close to the ocean like us, go sit by the water and just breathe. The smell of the ocean creates a sense of peace we we wrote in a previous post about our Sassy Beach Intention Candles. "This may have something to do with the negative ions in the sea air that you’re breathing in. A study published in the Journal of Alternative Complementary Medicine suggests that negative ion therapy could even be used to treat symptoms of seasonal affective disorder." Nature has a way of soothing the soul and reminding us of our connection to the world around us.
Candles are synonymous with Hygge, casting a warm and soft glow that transforms any space. Light candles during meals, while reading, or while taking a bath. We are obviously partial to candles. The gentle flicker of candlelight creates a serene atmosphere that's perfect for self-reflection and relaxation.
Embracing Hygge as a lifestyle encourages mindfulness and gratitude. Take a few minutes each day to reflect on the things you're thankful for. Whether it's a warm cup of cocoa or a cozy blanket or a scented bath, acknowledging these small blessings can shift your perspective and cultivate contentment.
Loneliness may be a universal feeling, but the Hygge lifestyle offers a genuine remedy. By creating a space of comfort, fostering connections, and relishing life's simple pleasures, you can find solace and companionship within yourself and the world around you. Start small, incorporating Hygge elements into your daily routine, and watch as a sense of warmth and togetherness fills your life.