Let's face it, we all have stress in our lives: gas prices, groceries, kids, grandkids, our health and the health of those we love. There are always stressors and worry in our lives. Is there a way to add some joy and peace in your life before the holiday rush?
Have you heard of hygee (pronounced hoo-gah). The meaning of this word is a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of content or well being. The origin comes from the Danish. Did you know that Denmark is one of the happiest countries in the entire world (even though they experience 17 hours of darkness in a day for months on end. So, what's their secret?
Here are some tips (taken from thegroupin.com) to incorporate into your home:
Less is More - This tip is actually one that I've been trying to do for a while. The older I get, the more I realize that it's not the "stuff" that brings me joy; however, it's the love in our family and meaningful relationships with friends that brings the greatest happiness to me. Take a weekend to get rid of anything that you don't need or use anymore. There are many "fancy dishes" that I have passed along to family members to use and enjoy now for the grandkids. I've said this before, but it connects them with generations passed and they get to enjoy the "fancy dishes". If you get rid of clutter, you know exactly what you have and where things belong. Trust me, I still have a lot to get rid of; however, it does bring me joy and frees up my home to be more cozy and welcoming.
Stick With A Neutral Color Scheme - I've done the route of bright accent walls when my children were growing up and at that time, it served its purpose. However, if you stick with a neutral color scheme like: browns, white, beige and grays your home will feel more bright and airy and flow from room to room nicely. I have personally used balanced beige throughout my home and repose gray in my son's home and they both are beautiful on the walls. Both colors are from Sherwin Williams and paired with a bright white trim look stunning.
Incorporate Plenty of Soft Cushions and Cozy Blankets in your living spaces - who doesn't like to feel cozy and warm? Blankets and pillows added to your couch, your bed and in a cozy basket make you feel more relaxed. Different textures and neutral colors can transform a room instantly.
Candles - I love candles and in the hygee lifestyle, they recommend non-scented or mildly scented candles; however, depending the season, my favorites evoke that season. Just be careful to not burn different scents at one time. If you're lighting a fall candle in your living room, then you may want to go with unscented candles in your bathroom or visa versa. In our blog, Our Fall Favorite Items, we highlight a candle that we've personally used and love.
Create A Spa-Like Bathroom - this tip I absolutely love. If you incorporate some cushy bathroom rugs, a cozy bathrobe, some candles, bath bubbles by the bathtub and remove clutter from the sinks and tub, you can easily have a spa-like bathroom. Removing clutter is easy if you put storage bins or baskets under your sink and then get them out as needed. You not only know where everything is, it keeps your counters fresh and clutter-free.
Focus On The Fireplace - when we moved to our home in Colorado 3 years ago, we wanted to transform our living space when you first walked into our home to focus on the beautiful mountains outside of our windows and the fireplace. The fireplace, along with the portraits on the shelves beside it, brings me happiness. I've even been guilty of turning on the fireplace when the air conditioning is on, which does not make my husband happy.
Fill Up Your Bookshelf - the hygee lifestyle recommends filling up your bookshelf with books, which will add simple, functional decor but also encourages you to read more. I can honestly say as much as I like this tip and the thought of sitting down to read a book, this is one I don't do. I keep some books in my guest room; however, if I sit down to read a book it usually ends up with me falling asleep so I rarely sit down for too long. I read constantly to my kids and grandkids and I have a hall closet that is filled to the brim with books for them to enjoy and read.
Display What Makes You Happy - this is an easy one for me. My home is filled with portraits of my grandchildren and family. With five adorable grandchildren and being a professional photographer, this is a tip that I love! When my grandchildren visit, they love to see their portraits on the wall so it brings not only great happiness to me but to them. If a painting or something that was handed down to you makes you smile, display it! We need to surround ourselves with furniture and decor that brings joy. Remember, less is more!
Create A Nook - if you already have a nook in your home, then consider adding a blanket or candle. It truly is the perfect place to enjoy a cup of tea, coffee or hot chocolate. I personally don't have a nook; however, I usually have my cup of coffee out on my patio enjoying nature. So, if you can't or don't have a nook, just create a place that you can find some peace and happiness. It may be a courtyard, your favorite chair or out on your patio.
Hygee is a lifestyle and one that is not only incorporated into home decor but your lifestyle: yoga, recycling, going to church or maybe FaceTiming your loved ones. Nothing brings me more happiness than when I FaceTime my granddaughter, Isabelle, in California. We sometimes stay on for hours just hanging together (coloring, playing together, reading together or just talking) & she's only 5 years old.
Personally, I have a ways to go to incorporate all of these into my lifestyle but I'm working on it and I hope these suggestions will help you, too. Christmas is 96 days away (not to get you stressed) but why not incoporate what you can into your lifestyle now so you can enjoy the holidays.
At the beginning of December, Gigi Connection will be writing about ways to share experiences with your grandchildren. Most of our grandkids, I'm sure have toys on end so we'll share with you ways to create meaningful experiences and traditions with them that can bring smiles to their faces.
May we all try to live with more joy and happiness in our lives!
"Everyone Can Identify With A Fragrant Garden, With The Beauty of a Sunset, With The Quiet of Nature, With A Warm and Cozy Cottage"
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