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Working on a happy, hygge New Year

by Amelia Petrovich January 19, 2017

Take a minute, breathe, and focus on the little things that make you happy.

I’ve never been one for making forced resolutions just because it’s a new year. My logic is that a year can stretch on from any point you choose.

July 20th to July 20th is a year, so is March 16th to March 16th, so why not let yourself create new goals on whatever date you want? The start of January doesn’t hold any special aim-setting magic, apart from maybe some newly arrived desperation to shed Christmas pavlova weight.

I still believe in all-year, ‘whenever’ resolutions, but as total luck would have it I actually have an ideal to work towards on January 1st this year after all.

The previous week I’d stumbled upon an article about something called ‘hygge’ (pronounced hue-gah). Hygge is a Danish word that describes the feeling of deriving genuine, meaningful pleasure from making ordinary moments special. It’s one of those words that’s so delicious there’s really no English equivalent, but it feels similar to practicing ‘mindfulness’, while making sure the things you’re doing are tweaked just enough to put a smile on your face.

It’s an art that’s incredibly important for the Danish during winter, and it’s no small wonder why. A snowy, blizzard of a day can be miserable but kicking it off with a scented candle and your favourite hot drink- that’s hygge.

Hygge here at home.

The thing I love most about hygge though, is the fact that it can be applied to just about any scenario in any season.

Our winters get pretty crappy here in New Zealand but right now it’s that ‘let’s get back to reality’ section of summer, when people have arrived home reluctantly from holidays and are looking to start the working year as they mean to continue.

I’ve decided that for me, that’s going to be with a little bit of hygge to help me along.

Anything from taking the time to sit outside in the sun on your lunch break, to listening to a playlist of your favourite artists on the way home helps make every moment distinct and valuable. It can be as complicated or as simple as you’re keen to make it.

In the midst of society’s complexities and problems, it might not be a frame of mind that feels immediately pressing, but it’s an idea that can be slowly and easily embraced for pretty awesome personal results.

A lot of us live in a world that values being frantic over being still, and that can be a little overwhelming at times- so why not take a moment to breathe and enjoy something small every day if we can?

I’ve never been one for forced resolutions, but this one feels natural. It’s time to kick the year off with a present mind and an eye for what makes us happy.

For me, it’ll probably look like a lot more scented candles and a kickass playlist. For you though, who knows? It can be literally whatever you need it to be- that’s the beauty of it.

Amelia Petrovich
Amelia Petrovich


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