Etro (aren’t they missing an R? har har) is delightfully Claudia-Kishi-circa-1970 this fall. Inspo: sheepskin, thrift-store scarves, bubblegum Joni Mitchell??? All the hot pink/floral/lime green/leopard print, plz.
Hygge is so trendy that it’s almost obnoxious, but recently on three (!) occasions, I found myself struggling to explain it to people who hadn’t heard of it (probably because they do more with their lives than read Apartment Therapy).
Anyway, the Danish concept of “hygge” (which I guess you say HUE-geh or HOO-guh depending who you ask) roughly translates to a feeling of coziness, connection, and contentment. (Conveniently alliterative, eh?) A slew of books recently came out about it, and the one I’m reading calls itself “a cure for SAD in book form,” which is kinda true!
From what I can tell, hygge means the feeling you get while sipping a steaming mug of tea on your couch, snuggled under a soft fluffy blanket, while having a good conversation with a friend…or your cat, I might add. Lots of faux fur, candles, shaggy & cozy textures, muted blush tones/neutrals, li’l cookies, and true crime TV shows, for some reason. (Those Danes gotta pass the cold dark winter somehow, I guess.)
No coincidence that IN THESE SCARY TIMES [glare in Trump’s direction] people are “cocooning” and embracing something that makes us feel safe and warm and comforted. There’s something simple, kind, quiet, and gentle about it, almost meditative. A nice contrast to loud, bright, flashy busy-ness and endless smartphone scrolling.
I confess reading The Book of Hygge has given me MAJOR Denmark envy. I know it’s romanticized and probably oversimplified, but Danish society sounds so utopian!
It’s been one of the happiest countries in the world for decades
Unlike America, there isn’t vast income inequality
Danish culture discourages bragging, pretension, being fiercely competitive, and hogging the spotlight (a dream for shy, conflict-averse introverts!)
In lieu of moving there immediately, a few little prezzies for myself have boosted my home’s hygge factor: some special tea, battery-operated candles that turn on at the same time every night, and one of those ubiquitous Ikea fake sheepskins. I’ve also been making small attempts to be a better listener & be more present in the moment–more mindful, if you will.
I (like a lot of people, I’m guessing) was not taught to trust my own judgment or intuition as a child. Growing up in a hyper-conservative Christian environment, my gut instincts were “bad” and “sinful” and could not be trusted. Thankfully, there were plenty of straight white dudes I was taught to trust instead: my pastor, the principal at my evangelical Christian school, my dad, etc.
This mindset of “other people know what’s best for you” followed me well into adulthood. To some extent, that’s necessary–I wouldn’t presume to know more about my car than an actual mechanic, or try to DIY a colonoscopy. But I shouldn’t be afraid to question the experts, especially if my gut says they’re wrong.
Relying on authority figures to tell me how to live my life–from therapists to the woman who cuts my hair–just isn’t so helpful anymore. It’s a crutch. It became a habit born out of the discomfort of indecision and ambiguity. It’s really hard not to know the answer, not to know what to do next, to feel out of control and lost and alone. Solution? Find someone to tell me how to live my life! (No wonder cults are so appealing.)
That’s why Courtney Carver’s post was so freaking refreshing. SO RARELY do people actually say “I don’t know what you should do. Trust your gut. What do YOU think you should do?” I’m totally guilty of this–I’ve been more than happy to dish out unsolicited advice about just about anything. (Working on it.)
Instead of rushing to find someone to tell me what to do, hopefully I can do things like take time for meditation/mindfulness, or journal, or just give myself permission not to make a decision yet. It’s OK to not know the answer or next step. Hopefully, in time, it will come. ❤