I've reserved three books from the Boston Public Library on the trending topic of hygge,* the Danish practice of making winter more pleasant. It will be interesting to see if there's enough material to fill one decent book, and if it's worthwhile to read all three.
I will let you know what I learn but, in the meantime, here's a good summary with tips that I've found so far. It boils down to making your life cozier, healthily indulgent and more sociable:
- lots of candles and soft lighting, day or night
- hot drinks, from cocoa to mulled wine
- warm socks or slippers
- hearty, comfort food, eaten at home
- casual socializing at home
- blankets and throws
- fires, if you have a fireplace
- watching the snow
- decorating with greens, flowers, and plants
- limiting screen time (a tough one for me)
- going out daily for fun exercise and activities.
I'd also add being careful to limit the overwhelming amount of upsetting, nearly incredible news coming from Washington every day. We need to be informed citizens, but we also need to be active citizens, so focus on that every day, too. Do whatever you can and you will feel a little better. You can:
- donate to causes and candidates
- subscribe to professional journalism (we have The Boston Globe, New York Times, Washington Post, and The New Yorker. The Atlantic is probably next. Plus Vanity Fair — a whole year cost me $5 after Trump dissed it and they responded with an offer to good to refuse)
- join political action groups, locally or nationally
- write or make calls to your elected officials
- sign all the petitions circulating online (I have doubts about the value, but if it makes you feel better. . . )
- become active in your own neighborhood, city, or town
- attend marches, protests, and other organized gatherings
- volunteer to make a difference to the less fortunate.
Possum, being Norwegian, says he has mastered the art of hygge in his own way, which looks more like hibernating, I'd say. He only wakes up to eat or snuggle with Harris or my husband. (Rarely with me.)
* Try saying "HUE-gah" in your best Danish accent.