Our bellies are still full of delicious Thanksgiving turkey and cherry and clove-studded holiday ham. Tummy rubs, afternoon naps, school breaks, and precious time with family were a perfect prescription for relaxation. And before countless popped corks from New Year’s celebrations begin to dry, our eagerness to get started on those resolutions intensifies. So are you signing up for that new gym membership, switching to a more minimalist lifestyle, or making healthier decisions when it comes to eating? Whether you believe in resolutions or not, how about we do something a bit different for 2022? Instead of making a checklist of all the ways we think we need “fixing,” let’s relax a bit longer, enjoy a cup of golden tea, and live a hygge life until springtime.
Ah, the hygge life. Pronounced “WHO-guh,” the Danish concept is about incorporating a sense of coziness in your life in order to feel more content and comfortable. As our bodies are in full swing with winter, so are our eating and sleep cycles. Shorter days equal melatonin fluctuation, which throws us into wanting more coziness and comfort. Who doesn’t love heavy blankets, fluffy pillows, a lovely, bubbly pot pie, and mood lighting as calming elements for your restful space?
Rather than answering the knock at the door from a “new year, new me” mentality, kindly crack it open and whisper, “It’s not go-time just yet.” Then shut the door. It’s OK to have a list of resolutions (check out those of my fellow contributors on pages 60-61). And it’s more than OK to start them in the spring when everything is coming to life again, especially your energy. Better yet, make a hygge resolution list for the first few months of the new year! My list looks a little like this:
- Eat dinner by candlelight. The ambiance alone will make your eating experience that much more enjoyable.
- Continue enjoying dinner guests and flavors of the season. Share delicious comfort food with friends and family, try to stay away from politics, cards and board games, and simply value one another. Of course, a side of warm bread sure doesn’t hurt either.
- Read more books. Picking up a good book to read is the right prescription to quiet the day’s stressors. For me, it’s yoga for the brain! I also love leaving my work at the door and diving into a new world that’s not my own.
- Begin a journaling practice. Whether it’s just a brain dump or a monthly plan, put it on paper. Check out The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll. His approach to journaling has helped me dial in a fun way to meal plan each week.
- Create a cozy corner in your home. There’s nothing better than waking up before the rest of the city’s hustle and bustle and sitting with a cup of coffee and the latest issue of Brick & Elm. Don’t forget cozy blankets, thick socks and throw pillows!
- Nurture a mindset of gratitude, meditate and savor life as you go into the new year. Sitting in silence with ordinary experiences is quite calming and does wonders to eliminate stress levels.
So what will you put into your hygge practice? When it comes to the concept of making resolutions, many people are just looking for a way to feel better about themselves. And that’s OK! Hygge is all about taking care of yourself and celebrating life in its simplest form. So get to hyggin’! Stay inside when it’s cold out, make a cup of golden turmeric tea, and continue to love yourself everyday. Those resolutions will still be there waiting for you in the spring.
Golden Turmeric Tea
2 cups almond milk
1 ½ teaspoons ground turmeric
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 small piece ginger (skin on)
Pinch each of ground clove, black pepper and cayenne
Sweetener of choice (1 tablespoon raw honey or maple syrup; I use Stevia drops.)
Add all ingredients into blender and pulse until combined. Pour into small saucepan (I use nonstick … you’ll thank me when it’s clean-up time) and heat on low until nice and hot. Pour into cups, sprinkle with more cinnamon, and enjoy.