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November 22, 2016
Hygge for Health
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Hygge is a popular term these days, even at the shopping mall. It is a Danish word and concept (pronounced hoo-gah) that represents coziness, candle light, warm blankets, forest walks, friends coming over, bonfires, and more.  It is a way these Northeners not only survive fall and winter and dark long nights, but thrive in them and enjoy them! Best part is it is good for your health too.

I have struggled myself with Seasonal Affectiveness Disorder during the dark Seattle days and am trying to learn all I can about hygge to take hold of this season and fall in love with it a new way. I don't want to leave winter 10 pounds heavier and sad this year; I want to learn to love it for being different from spring or summer. 

How can you embrace hygge and help your health this fall and winter?

1. Go for a wintry walk, even at night! Bring a flashlight and a friend or family member and enjoy the crisp cool air.

2. Relax with a good book and a roaring fire. Find your coziest blanket or softest pillow and de-stress by just being quiet and calm a while while staring into the fire and watching the colors soar and flicker and sputter.

3. Eat good food. This doesn't mean it has to be a quadruple cheese macacaroni or anything heavy but something warm and satisfying. May we recommend our stew recipes which can be adapted to just about any stage. 

4. Make a hygge corner or room in your house. Try and do this without even going to the jam packed stores or malls. Find items around your house and re-decorate to have one spot in your house that calms you and brings a smile.

5. Use candles to get some warm light and joy in your home.

6. Call a friend or write a letter to reconnect. We all need people and life is hard. 

7. Have people over or make plans to see friends at a coffee shop or bookstore. Though it is tempting to hole up in winter like hibernating animals having a party or even a friend over or meeting somewhere else that isn't just food focused but fun and joy focused always lightens my mood.

8. Learn something new at home or even at the gym. Maybe this is the time you take up Zumba or Pilates. Or calligraphy or guitar? Use these colder months to do something you always wanted to do!

What can you do to embrace hygge this season?

Written by Jennifer Martin

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