Depression

The Danish practice of hygge to beat the winter blues

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    Jennifer Earles
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    <p class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin-bottom: 0in; line-height: normal;”><span style=”font-family: ‘Times New Roman’, serif; font-size: 12pt;”>Denmark always ranks as one of the happiest countries in the world. Despite long winter months that can be brutally cold, Danish people practice what’s known as “hygge” (pronounced HOO-gah) to stay mentally and emotionally well.</span></p>
    <p class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin-bottom: 0in; line-height: normal;”><span style=”font-family: ‘Times New Roman’, serif; font-size: 12pt;”>Meik Wiking wrote the guide, </span><i style=”font-family: ‘Times New Roman’, serif; font-size: 12pt;”>The Little Book of Hygge</i><span style=”font-family: ‘Times New Roman’, serif; font-size: 12pt;”>, which tells us that hygge is known as “the art of creating intimacy,” “coziness of the soul,” and even “cocoa by candlelight.”</span></p>
    <p class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin-bottom: 0in; line-height: normal;”><span style=”font-family: ‘Times New Roman’, serif; font-size: 12pt;”>Some key ingredients of hygge are:</span></p>

      <li class=”MsoNormal” style=”line-height: normal;”><span style=”font-family: ‘Times New Roman’, serif; font-size: 12pt;”>Togetherness (even if its virtual)</span>
      <li class=”MsoNormal” style=”line-height: normal;”><span style=”font-size: 12.0pt; font-family: ‘Times New Roman’,serif;”>Relaxation</span>
      <li class=”MsoNormal” style=”line-height: normal;”><span style=”font-size: 12.0pt; font-family: ‘Times New Roman’,serif;”>Indulgence</span>

    • <span style=”font-size: 12.0pt; font-family: ‘Times New Roman’,serif;”>Presence or mindfulness</span>
    • <span style=”font-size: 12.0pt; font-family: ‘Times New Roman’,serif;”>Comfort</span>

    <p class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin-bottom: 0in; line-height: normal;”><span style=”font-size: 12.0pt; font-family: ‘Times New Roman’,serif;”> </span><span style=”font-family: ‘Times New Roman’, serif; font-size: 12pt;”>Here’s what Wiking had to say:</span></p>
    <p class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin-bottom: 0in; line-height: normal;”><span style=”font-size: 12.0pt; font-family: ‘Times New Roman’,serif;”> </span><span style=”font-family: ‘Times New Roman’, serif; font-size: 12pt;”>“One December, just before Christmas, I was spending the weekend with some friends at an old cabin. The shortest day of the year was brightened by the blanket of snow covering the surrounding landscape. When the sun set, around four in the afternoon, we knew we would not see it again for seventeen hours, and we headed instead to get the fire going.</span></p>
    <p class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin-bottom: 0in; line-height: normal;”><span style=”font-family: ‘Times New Roman’, serif; font-size: 12pt;”>We were all tired after hiking and were half asleep, sitting in a semicircle around the fireplace in the cabin, wearing big jumpers and wool socks. The only sounds you could hear were the stew boiling, the sparks from the fireplace, and someone having a sip of their mulled wine. Then one of my friends broke the silence.</span></p>
    <p class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin-bottom: 0in; line-height: normal;”><span style=”font-family: ‘Times New Roman’, serif; font-size: 12pt;”>‘Could this be any more hygge?’ he asked rhetorically.</span></p>
    <p class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin-bottom: 0in; line-height: normal;”><span style=”font-family: ‘Times New Roman’, serif; font-size: 12pt;”>‘Yes,” one of the women said, ‘if there was a storm raging outside.’</span></p>
    <p class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin-bottom: 0in; line-height: normal;”><span style=”font-family: ‘Times New Roman’, serif; font-size: 12pt;”>Hygge is about feeling safe and secure, and, ultimately, you know it when you feel it. It can also be cuddling up to a loved one on the sofa or sharing comfort food with your closest friends.</span></p>
    <p class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin-bottom: 0in; line-height: normal;”><span style=”font-family: ‘Times New Roman’, serif; font-size: 12pt;”>According the Wiking, here’s how you can get more hygge into your life:</span></p>
    <p class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin-bottom: 0in; line-height: normal;”><span style=”font-family: ‘Times New Roman’, serif; font-size: 12pt;”>Atmosphere –</span></p>

      <li class=”MsoNormal” style=”line-height: normal;”><span style=”text-indent: -0.25in; font-size: 12pt; font-family: Symbol;”><span style=”font-variant-numeric: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-stretch: normal; font-size: 7pt; line-height: normal; font-family: ‘Times New Roman’;”> </span></span><span style=”text-indent: -0.25in; font-size: 12pt; font-family: ‘Times New Roman’, serif;”>Turn down the lights</span>

    • <!– [if !supportLists]–><span style=”font-size: 12.0pt; font-family: ‘Times New Roman’,serif;”>Bring out the candles</span>

    <p class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin-bottom: 0in; line-height: normal;”><span style=”font-size: 12.0pt; font-family: ‘Times New Roman’,serif;”> </span><span style=”font-family: ‘Times New Roman’, serif; font-size: 12pt;”>Togetherness -</span></p>

      <li class=”MsoNormal” style=”line-height: normal;”><span style=”font-size: 12.0pt; font-family: ‘Times New Roman’,serif;”> </span><span style=”text-indent: -0.25in; font-size: 12pt; font-family: ‘Times New Roman’, serif;”>Build relationships and narratives</span>

    • <!– [if !supportLists]–><span style=”font-size: 12.0pt; font-family: ‘Times New Roman’,serif;”>Gather and talk about things like, “Do you remember the time we….?</span>

    <p class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin-bottom: 0in; line-height: normal;”><span style=”font-size: 12.0pt; font-family: ‘Times New Roman’,serif;”> </span><span style=”font-family: ‘Times New Roman’, serif; font-size: 12pt;”>Gratitude -</span></p>

      <li class=”MsoNormal” style=”line-height: normal;”><span style=”font-size: 12.0pt; font-family: ‘Times New Roman’,serif;”> </span><span style=”font-family: ‘Times New Roman’, serif; font-size: 12pt;”>Take it in</span>

    • <!– [if !supportLists]–><span style=”font-size: 12.0pt; font-family: ‘Times New Roman’,serif;”>Understand that this might be as good as it gets</span>

    <p class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin-bottom: 0in; line-height: normal;”><span style=”font-size: 12.0pt; font-family: ‘Times New Roman’,serif;”> </span><span style=”font-family: ‘Times New Roman’, serif; font-size: 12pt;”>Equality -</span></p>

      <li class=”MsoNormal” style=”line-height: normal;”><span style=”text-indent: -0.25in; font-size: 12pt; font-family: ‘Times New Roman’, serif;”>We over me</span>

    • <!– [if !supportLists]–><span style=”font-size: 12.0pt; font-family: ‘Times New Roman’,serif;”>Share the tasks and the airtime</span>

    What are some other ways we can stay positive this winter?
    <p class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin-bottom: 0in; line-height: normal;”><span style=”font-size: 12.0pt; font-family: ‘Times New Roman’,serif;”> </span></p>
    <p class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin-bottom: 0in; line-height: normal;”><span style=”font-size: 12.0pt; font-family: ‘Times New Roman’,serif;”> </span></p>
     

     

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