The UN classifies October as the Mental Health Awareness Month, but as we enter the holiday season the team at 1 People think it is even more important to maintain the health and wellbeing spirit for the months of November and December.
The shopping frenzy periods that happen in the weeks of Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Hanukkah, Christmas, and New Years are anything but slow. Although these holidays are all about spending quality time with beloved families and/or friends—and finally enjoying some festive, leisure time—it is also easy to fall prey to the pressures of trends and overconsumption. Not only will we put ourselves in a tight spot, mentally, as we would also give our Earth a hard time.
So, what would we make of ourselves if our occasion to celebrate is at the expense of hurting our home, our Earth?
1 People encourages a slow lifestyle, both for mental health and the planet. We can celebrate festivities and holidays in mindful ways that will not hurt our wellness and well-being, as well as the environment. Practicing hygge is one of the many ways we can inspire a cosy lifestyle and fray away from the pressures of short-lived trends that only offer temporary happiness. Living slow means sustaining that happiness for a longer time. In support of this, 1 People will be celebrating Slow November to raise awareness of mindful living.
But first, let us start with the concept of hygge.
What is Hygge?
Hygge is a Danish word that does not have any literal translation; loosely translated, the word encompasses concepts of cosiness, contentment, and well-being. Simply put, hygge is used to describe the pleasures of enjoying the simple things in life. SELF writer, Anne Roderique-Jones, explores hygge by practicing it herself and comes to the conclusion that, “There is nothing fancy, expensive, or luxurious about a pair of ugly woolen hygge socks—and that is a vital feature of hygge. It’s about appreciating the simple pleasures in life and can be achieved on a shoestring budget.” Finding happiness is meant to be simple and cost little—if any—budget, whether that is time or money.
Denmark is ranked second in Condé Nast Traveler’s 10 Happiest Countries in the World, after Finland. Happiness is an important concept in Scandinavian countries where work-life balance plays a significant factor in wellness and well-being. It is no surprise that world renowned happiness guru, Meik Wiking, is a Danish born—the country takes its happiness and self-care very seriously. Wiking’s Happiness Research in Copenhagen has helped millions discover happiness, especially in the midst of the pandemic where the feeling is sought after and cherished most.
Popular activities include curling up by the fireplace, reading at the nook, eating homemade comfort food, drinking hot chocolate, taking a mindful walk in nature, and more—so long as you do not stare at your phone whilst enjoying these activities. In the same spirit, purchasing products just to keep up with trends is the exact opposite of what hygge is about.
A hygge lifestyle is not limited to staying indoors or spending time outside. It has little to do with the timing and setting than it does with the feeling. 1 People’s founder and chief sustainability officer, Rea Tjoa Algreen—a Dane herself—describes hygge as, “[…] more of a feeling than an occasion.” In this case, it is important to set the right mood and ambiance to inspire hygge moments.
Meik Wiking’s bestselling book, The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets To Happy Living, mentions hygge would not be complete without candles. This may date back to the history of how hygge was first established, back in the 19th century. In modern times, as long as you set proper lighting (in place of candles), a priority on cosiness, and stay attuned to your feelings, the method of practicing hygge does not matter. Think along the lines of togetherness, relaxation, indulgence, presence, and comfort—when you feel it, you will know.
Although the concept is often associated with cooler, winter periods, Danes practice it all year long. As a Danish brand, the 1 People team continuously strives to practice hygge and promote the health and well-being benefits that might come out of it. Let us explore more of this below.
Emotional Benefits of Hygge
Since hygge is all about the atmosphere, the cleanliness and tidiness of a space can contribute to the sense of calm that the concept is often associated with. Utilizing all the five senses of sight, sound, touch, taste and smell in a cosy space would help us feel less anxious. If we are less anxious, more positivity and wisdom can come as benefits.
Firstly, we are likened to be more open in connecting with one another. Secondly, lower levels of stress and depression come with less anxiety. Thirdly, increased mindfulness and gratitude are experienced. Fourthly, increased feelings of self-worth come as a result in a humbling way. And last but certainly not least, there is an increased positive outlook towards life to inspire feelings of happiness. Gone are the short-lived happiness obtained from excessive shopping and constantly trying to be trendy.
Physical Benefits of Hygge
In an environment of safe, cosy comfort our bodies will physically respond accordingly. When our mind is at ease, our bodies, too, will feel relaxed. As a result the physical benefits of hygge include improved sleep, weight regulation, reduction in alcohol intake and other unhealthy habits that would damage our bodies. A healthy body is a reflection of a positive mind.
Social Benefits of Hygge
Hygge can also be pictured in a setting of togetherness rather than the typical ‘me time’. In combination with the emotional and physical benefits mentioned above, a comfortable and emotionally safe state of mind and body will bode well in social settings.
A hygge-focussed social setting can take place at the fireplace where beloved friends and/or families are gathered, whilst enjoying homemade comfort food and beverages to unwind and slow down. Intimacy, openness, and an increased sense of trust will pave the way for developing a stronger bond with existing relationships. Creating hyggelig moments with a beloved company is truly priceless.
Wellness and Well-being
Wellness and well-being are terms that have been used together, and sometimes even interchangeably. But do not be mistaken as they actually have a subtle difference in meaning. Wellness refers to the state of being healthy and mostly refers to physical health. On the other hand well-being is the state of being healthy, happy, or successful and mostly refers to mental health.
The pandemic has brought many concerns around the wellness and well-being of the global population. As social and economic conditions decline, people around the world have faced challenges that may scar them emotionally and for a long period of time. Exercising wellness and well-being go hand-in-hand, and it is becoming ever more important in the present time, so much so that the world no longer sees mental health as taboo.
This year’s World Mental Health Day slogan is ‘Mental health care for all: let’s make it a reality’. It comes at no better time than now, as we find the increasing need to raise awareness of mental health issues and mobilise efforts in support of it. In addition to the pandemic, our world is moving at a rapid pace and continues to battle the global issue of climate change. These thoughts have made it harder for people around the world to have a happy and fulfilling lifestyle. In turn, this can affect our physical health. For example, insomnia and sleep deprivation are on the rise, which can take a toll on our wellness. It is important to prioritise mindful self-care at times like these.
1 People has covered some nice short reads on acceptance, maintaining wellness amidst hectic times, and travelling for well-being and self-development. Mindful reading to explore what tips work best for you might also inspire greater happiness for the self.
To continue the conversation about mental health, wellness and well-being, 1 People aims to highlight these focusses in the month of November. As the world prepares for the upcoming festive season, hyggelig moments will soon make an appearance, but the weeks leading up to that will be anything but hygge.
1 People will promote more mindful ways to approach the festive season that would not cost us the Earth. The month will be about inspiring a hyggelig lifestyle through mindful listening, reading, sharing and, alternatively, buying—if it ever comes to that. The 1 People team will be sharing conscious podcasts, articles and poems to slow down and inspire creativity and happiness. In place of chasing after exclusive deals for a limited period of time, join 1 People’s giveaway to win prizes that can be redeemed any time, all year long. No pressure—that is why it is called ‘Slow November’.
Discover Slow November on 1 People’s Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
Celebrate Hygge All Year Long With 1 People’s Capsule Collections
An exciting capsule collection for the cold is coming soon to 1 People. You can bring hyggeligt moments any time, anywhere with the right feeling and ambiance. Let slow fashion be your alternative if you still need to shop for the holiday season.
Get ready to discover the slow, sustainable styles with 1 People’s upcoming capsule collection. It will be as if you physically touch and hug the feeling of hygge.