Hygge – h(y)o͞oɡə,ˈho͝oɡə/- is a Danish and Norwegian word describing that certain quality of coziness and conviviality linked with feelings of wellness and contentment. Associated with relaxation, indulgence, and gratitude, hygge is regarded as a defining Danish culture.
I first came across this word while scrolling through minimalist interior styles on my phone which I could apply in my apartment. Someone in the social media group posted a photo of a cozy corner at her home and said that it’s her “hygge.” And thus commenced my affinity with the word.
I’m sure we all have our own hygge. When I think of mine, a picture of me on a holiday at the beach, a nice hot latte on one hand, and a good book on the other come to mind. Surely, I can think of other scenarios, but that’s the closest memory I have of my hygge.
This way of life isn’t quite popular in the Philippines for various reasons. I’m sure many have been consciously practicing this kind of lifestyle. I grew up with the belief that to live a comfortable life, I must hustle and hustle. There was also that belief system that I needed to unlearn that having more or accumulating material stuff would make me happier.
The idea of relaxation, comfort, and indulgence just seemed like a luxury only select people could afford. Yet come to think of it, in 2015, when I spent a few days in Tinglayan, Kalinga to accompany a friend who wanted to have a tattoo from Whang-od, the “last” and oldest “mambabatok” (traditional Kalinga tattooist), I recall having a sense that the village people of Buscalan lived simple yet happy lives.
Being in that place surely knocked some sense into me. Of course, I forgot all about these feelings of relaxation and contentment the moment I went back to the daily grind in Manila.
But it’s good to be always reminded of your “hygge,” whatever that means to you. In fact, why not always be in the pursuit of your hygge? And one doesn’t need to or shouldn’t come from a privileged space to feel this. A farmer can stare at his healthy crops while enjoying the fine weather, and that can be his hygge. A plant-lover can find her hygge at the sight of the colorful blooms in her garden. Good music that feeds one’s soul. A perfectly brewed coffee and gentle rain perhaps. A walk with your dog at a park. A snuggle with a loved one while watching what-have-you on Netflix. It can be anything really. So, what is your hygge?
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Speaking of comfort, I’ve been enjoying and benefitting from the nutrition of these soothing and refreshing tea selections from Healthy Options. If you’re a tea lover, you’ll certainly love their teas that are good supplements to boost your immunity against certain diseases. These are also effective supplements on your road to recovery from illnesses like common flu. They have anti-inflammatory botanicals and detoxifying blends to choose from for recovery or overall health. I get my Healthy Options teas from the branch closest to me. One can also order online, plus they offer nationwide delivery.