Benjamin Franklin said it best: “Happiness consists more in small conveniences or pleasures that occur every day, than in great pieces of good fortune that happen but seldom.” As good a way as any of describing the Danish art of hygge.
Hygge (pronounced, according to hyggehouse.com as hue-guh not hoo-gah) is a ‘Danish word used when acknowledging a feeling or moment, whether alone or with friends, at home or out, ordinary or extraordinary as cosy, charming or special.’
A New Viking invasion
And you can hardly have failed to notice it. Over the last eighteen months to two years the Vikings have invaded Britain all over again. This time in the form of hygge. Something that a friend of mine is somewhat mystified by. Having a Danish brother-in-law, hygge has been integral to their lives for nigh on forty years.
But the Danes have arrived for sure. Our book shelves are groaning under a tsunami of books on the subject. Both the Collins and Oxford dictionaries have listed the terms as a word of the year, alongside Brexit and Trumpism.
What is hygge?
Yet despite hygge being used to sell everything from cashmere to cottage pie it’s defined by one Dane, in this Guardian article about the hygge conspiracy, as being ‘a lot about family being together. Candles. It’s never about being posh, about cakes from the ‘right’ place. It’s cake you baked yourself. It’s a feeling. It’s something that has meaning in itself, it’s not a means to becoming a better person, like doing exercise.’ Put another way, all that hygge really needs is consciousness and mindfulness. The ability to be present and to recognize and enjoy that moment of being present.
And if there’s anything about hygge that resonates with me it’s that. There’s echoes there of what underpins my business ethos. As I’ve expressed on the Pink &Green About Us page: ‘During my years as a practising therapist I taught my clients the importance of making time for themselves and paying attention to their skin, to listen to what it was telling them and to act upon that … It’s my firm belief that what you put on your skin should help you to both look and feel wonderful. This ethos of self-care is woven throughout my entire range of organic skin care products.’
Indeed, I’ve reinforced this sentiment in various blog posts. In particular, when I wrote about the line between self-interest and selfishness in which I explored the guilt that women so often feel at the mere thought of doing something for themselves. So crippled by this guilt are many women that actually doing it is impossible.
Well ladies, now is the time. Winter is fast approaching and the frenetic festive season. Now, more than ever you – yes YOU – need to be serious about making some time for yourself. Time to recharge your mental and physical batteries. Time for some small pleasures – yes, for some hygge. As Polonius said: ‘To thine own self be true’. And in this instance, in ‘true’, it’s arguable that what Polonius meant was ‘beneficial’.
Okay, we’ve established that neither cashmere nor candles are at the core of hygge – rather mindfulness and enjoying the moment. Even so, there’s no denying that comforts such as those enhance the enjoying of that moment!
So, should you be looking for some small pleasures – either for yourself or as gifts then consider the Pink&Green gift offerings. We’ve put together some gift collections to ease your gift giving headache. But should you fancy a different combination of items to those you see do ask. So long as we can fit the items you want into our boxes we should be able to accommodate a ‘pick-n-mix’ request.
A rather luxurious small pleasure comes wrapped up in our chocolate and rose face and body mask with a background of our fragranced room diffuser. The latter being available in blackberry and ylang ylang or vanilla and lavender. For an extra layer of decadence treat yourself – or someone else – to these organic, dark chocolate truffles. Mmmm …