Bless you.

Click the audio bar up there to hear it pronounced.

The Danish word that doesn’t translate directly into English because we are, as Americans, wound so tight that if you fed us coal, in two weeks, diamonds would come out the other end.

There’s so much stress in our lives! Some of it is good – I have a deadline to finish a book, and that’s good because 1) I love writing, and 2) I like making sure y’all have books to read to make you happy.

Some stress is unavoidable. Family issues, health issues, job issues. Sometimes, life just sucks.

But even on days when life sucks, you can take a moment to sit in your favorite comfy chair, with your cat in your lap, or your dog snoring on your feet, and drink your favorite hot beverage. Cuddle into a cozy blanket, light a candle, read a book.

That feeling right there? That’s hygge. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, it’s “A quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being.”

As an introvert, I love my happy, solitary spaces, but it’s also hyggelig to call up your friends, make some popcorn, put on fun music, and play boardgames. Or go out for lunch at a comfortable pub that has a cozy atmosphere. To all go for a walk, then come back in and share a pot of hot chocolate or mulled wine.

The thing is, these things tend not to just happen organically. You need to spend a little time preparing yourself and your home. Not just scrubbing the toilets, but making a comfortable space. Do you like your living room? Is it done in a way that makes you happy? Even if it needs a major investment you can’t swing right now, what are some small things you can do to make it happier? Like I mentioned – a blanket, a pillow, a good chair, some candles.

Make it a project to give yourself a hyggelig space with some living plants and things that make you smile. Winter is pretty much made for hygge because everyone wants to be warm and comfy. Comfy slippers, soft sweaters, and you’re good to go.

In the summer, I sit on my screened-in back patio with my morning cuppa joe, and just take a moment to look at the beautiful flowers. No phone, no Kindle. Just me and my coffee and the sunshine. Unplug for a few minutes and enjoy.

At it’s core, it’s about that feeling. It’s not about stuff to buy or a style of decor. It’s mindfully recognizing that In That Moment, life is… hygge.

What are some ways you’ve incorporated hygge into your life?

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