Embracing Winter

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“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire:  it is the time for home.” -Edith Sitwell

In the Scandinavian countries there is a concept called “hygge” that has no literal translation into English. Some say the closest definition might be something like “coziness”, but it goes a bit further than that. Hygge is an attitude of acceptance and gratitude for the inner warmth that winter offers us. It’s an opportunity to embrace the darkness of the winter months with gentle, soothing pleasures of the soul. Candlelight, sitting by the fire under a warm blanket, steaming hot chocolate, a cozy stew and a glass of red wine for dinner….all very hygge.

“Hygge seems to me to be about being kind to yourself – indulging, having a nice time, not punishing or denying yourself anything.” –Helen Russell, author of The Year of Living Danishly: Uncovering the Secrets of the World’s Happiest Country.

 I know a lot of people who spend winter wishing it were spring. Instead, let’s follow the lead of our Nordic friends and happily sink into winter this weekend. Stock wood for the fire. Get out your flannel, your coziest blankets and a good book. Prepare something warm and nourishing in your kitchen, light the candles and enjoy a glass of wine. Forget spring for awhile, it will come in good time.  Be gentle with yourself and embrace the gift of cold and darkness that winter brings.

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