Finding Strength in the Coziness: Hygge

coziness hygge strength vulnerability Dec 15, 2023

A few months ago, I spoke about Hygge, the Danish concept of coziness on episode #97, Unlocking Your Inner Rebel. If you haven't already, go ahead, check it out. 

My inner rebel is soft and vulnerable. And I think that there is more to the story. You see, I had just returned from Denmark just a few weeks prior and the concept was fresh in my mind. I was determined to not have it be a vacation-vantage point, you know the things you only do when you've checked out of "real life" and do on vacation (ahem, like date nights or sleeping in or a FB holiday or turning off your electronics... for a few hours).

Let's tell the rest of the story: I basked in the glory of finding hygge, snuggled with it under the covers. And then about a month ago (so around November), I found myself running around with my hair on fire trying to fit in all sorts of things around planning for Thanksgiving, the kids and my upcoming launch. Truth-be-told, I had also had all of the shifting of my husband's new orders to Guam emerge during that time.

I was... frenzied and trying to out-think and plan for everything. I needed to find the best options to make it all fit together for my kids, my dogs, my marriage and then...somewhere, perhaps there was a bit left over for me?

I had gone back to my old ways. Now, keep in mind my old ways had been working in certain ways: I have discovered that I am a "Maximizer" - I will Tetris the snot out of any problem, uncovering all the options to consider, how they all fit together and which one fits best. My Google calendar is a Tetris work of art.

But Hygge isn't about Tetrising it all together.

Hygge, to me, meant creating white space. I was missing it. I craved it.

In the white space - the coziness, I was free to let my mind wander, be creative, explore and well, create. Creating isn't trying to fit together all the pieces of now, it's a reinvention.

I made note to not give myself grief for going back to my old ways. Of course I had practiced this constant-movement-and-maximizing for years and it was an easy habit to go back to. It wasn't a problem, except for one thing: I didn't feel the way I wanted to.

I felt rushed and stressed and frenzied, even though I had pared off so many of the things that had previously (I thought) made me feel that way.

Actually, I felt that way because I thought it was important to feel that way.

But I had had the experience of hygge to show me otherwise.

A cold snap came over Virginia - and I turned on the fireplace. I ordered about 3 years' worth of my favorite tea on Black Friday, and I started making hot tea and sitting by the fireplace. I started listening to my body, which got up at 5am and just wanted to sleep as soon as it got dark around 6pm.

I love the way it feels when I listen to the rhythm of my body. I have a name for it now, hygge - the softness, coziness, warmth. It still feels odd at times - mostly when I think about the other things I can/should/would be doing - and I notice that's not a problem with the approach. I can just notice it.

The softness, the coziness, the warmth, the connection - these are not things that are lazing-around. They are ways of being AND actions that I'm taking, actions that support how I actually want to feel now and the energy that is helping me be who I want to be with my family. I don't want to be frenzied. I want to be soft.

I talk about this to highlight that one can embrace whatever view they want - even when it seems like it's a contradiction. In fact, I'm embracing the contradictions of loving lots of pieces in my life and the softness and coziness that help me enjoy them, one at a time. What about you?


I love asking these questions and following through on them. Join me for the upcoming Family in Focus signature group coaching program (starts 2nd week of January) - or even private work (CME can be used for those who have end-of-year funds (a gratifying way to earn credits while learning more about yourself!) Email me for the private health or professional coaching spots.

YouTube version of Episode #104 here.

Calling all Healthcare Professionals: I'm so glad you're here, to benefit yourself, your family, and your patients. The CE experience for this Podcast is powered by CMEfy - click here to reflect and earn credits:

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