All of the Feels: The New “Coziness of the Soul”

This may or may not be a buzz word floating around the internet and verbal atmosphere (sometimes I’m out of the loop and people ask me if I live under a rock-so be it): the Danish practice of hygge. Apparently, when it comes to relaxation, the Danes know it best! While there is no literal English translation, this term is identified as “the coziness of the soul”, or a general state of “wellness” or “togetherness”, and is emphasized as a lifestyle practice that centers around stillness, soothing, self-care, and pleasure.

I can get behind that.

This practice is even rooted in the idea that Danish culture occupies some of the most fulfilled and pleasant people in modern day culture, and much of this consistent mood boost is attributed to this sacred lifestyle and practice (guys, there’s like actual studies on this).  Taking pleasure in simplicity and enjoying and savoring those sweet moments of life is what you will find in this endearing practice. It centers around the idea that in order to give comfort and breathe life into the world and relationships, we must be soothed and comforted ourselves: not just when we are in “burn out-shut ourselves in our room and bite the head off of anyone who speaks to us” mode, but as an intentional, daily lifestyle that is to be cultivated and nurtured. Some of these elements of hygge surprised me greatly, as they seem so simple and easy to implement! But how often in American we find ourselves taking these things for granted, or not truly recognizing the impact of what these small changes may have on us? I’ll tell you one thing, I certainly do notice an impact when these elements are NOT present in my life. Hygge was a concept that was especially emphasized during the more harsh weather months (um….what a more perfect time to implement some of these than now?), but is encouraged to be practiced year-round, and more importantly, daily.  Here are some practices of hygge that I came across and am truly in love with:

  • Invest in some soothing candles: You all know that I am all about those sweet scents. But even more than that, abiding by the illumination that these candles produce can instill a natural calming effect, both through reminding us of our humble “smallness” as well as setting the tone for slow conversations and tender moments. It has even been said that the simplicity of one single lit candle is one of the most fundamental hygge moments of achieve.


  • Update to cozy lounge-wear: who doesn’t look forward to taking off the skirt and heels and slipping into a cozy pair of sweats after a long day? But taking this one step further, hygge suggests for us to think deliberately about our lounge-wear: is it as warm and comfy as it can be? is it old and really shouldn’t be held onto any longer (preach)? Is there any way to add an element (fuzzy socks, cozy robe, etc) that can make this attire even more soothing to the body? Additionally (and I’m SO guilty of this); BUY A REAL PAIR OF PAJAMAS. Do not sleep in your yoga pants or sweats (boo): have a specific set of sleepwear that treats your body well and sends your mind and body the message that it is time to transition into slumber.


  • Take up a new hobby: hygge emphasizes something soothing or busy for the hands that also creates and opportunity to learn something new. And as hygge tradition, this can also be a social event! Gathering is something emphasized in the hygge practice, in order to share this experience or as a time set apart to lift each other up and encourage one another in intentional living.


  • Stock a self-care kit: having a set collection of materials that assist you in facilitating the art of self-care produces even more motivation to use self-care on the daily. My fave tip for this is creating a sensory soothing kit: one item for each sense that allows you to soothe. Examples-pictures of fond memories, essential oils, specific aromatherapy lotions or face masks, specific soundtrack of music or soothing tones, herbal teas or small treats like delectable chocolates, warm blankets. Stash this away somewhere where you can always access it (I even encourage creating two and having one you can travel with or keep in your car!).


  • Slow down: Yeah right, but seriously. More recently, some of my most fond moments have been savoring the simple and slow moments life has to offer me and those around me. Even if its doing a media fast one day per week, setting up unscheduled blocks of time in your schedule to be spontaneous, having eyeball to eyeball contact daily with those you do life with, this skill is so important. Truth be told, it’s something that I am even still working on (we’re in this together!). Moral of the story: the simple moments demand for us to slow down and take in what is within our immediate vicinity. When we’re able to do that, we’re able to cultivate the most refreshing kind of connectiveness, and gratitude breeds out of that place into our lungs.


So, how do you “hygge”? What have been some elements of this practice that are most essential to you? Or, which elements are you motivated to implement into your own lifestyle?

Stay cozy friends, and as always, stay tuned,



Where the Comfort Truly Lies

Well, it comes around every week. It’s MONDAY.

When you haven’t seen a post from me in a few days, you can tell what kind of a week it’s been. And boy, was it ever a draining week. I’ve been trying to pinpoint what exactly wore me out so much this week, but it was truly a combination of major lack of sleep, worry over financial strains, little “me” time, and HEAT (it was soooooo hot this weekend, and we were basking in it for most of Saturday, yikes-but still enjoyable!). To be quite honest, by the end of the week, my anxiety level had gotten higher than I would have liked it to be, and my body really started to feel the impact of the week (as well as my poor husband. Bless his heart). By Sunday night, I was SPENT. I’m feeling a bit more refreshed (thank you, coffee), but recognize that my body truly did take this on.

The Apostle Paul knew a little bit about this (okay, maybe more than a little bit). In Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians, Paul speaks very openly about his own weakness and struggle, and is very aware of it. But he gives this message regarding being “spent”:

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of All Comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.” -2 Cor. 1:3-6

But…but…but Paul? You don’t get it. You don’t get my current situation, and just how frenzied I felt this week. Where was my comfort then?

Truth be told, I wasn’t doing a great job of seeking out God at the end of this week. I also lost my lens of gratitude, and every little thing just seemed so much bigger than it actually was (power of perspective!). We have a God of all comfort that has the power to refresh and revive us in the midst of anything we may be experiencing. Best part is: He is literally ALWAYS there. Always! We don’t need to make an appointment with him (although appointments with professionals are gifts from God too, believe me), and we don’t have to wait to get our time with him. We merely need to seek him out in his word, through prayer, and through being present in the moment with him.

Now, to be fair, I am all for taking care of yourself, which sometimes means making sure your needs are met so you can fulfill your obligations and roles, but to neglect my personal time with God can have a serious effect on my functioning-I wasn’t partaking in the comfort of Christ in order that I might provide comfort to others through Him. Hindsight is usually 20/20, isn’t it?

Another wrong turn I took was losing my lens of gratitude. Looking back to my above “laundry list of chaos” that occurred this week, I should have been reframing it as such:

  • gratitude for our darling pup, who even though has been giving us great challenge lately, always greets us with so much unconditional love and excitement (even if it is a 4am, ouch). She is also making great gains in some other areas of training!
  • gratitude for so many activities and loved ones to engage with this weekend! Schedule was tight, but we got to experience so many events that reminded us of the love and support God has placed in our lives
  • gratitude for Christ having a plan, and him being the one in control (and praying for patience while he unfolds it)
  • gratitude for the awareness that personal time, for me, is necessary (and prayers of how to continue to balance that on the more chaotic weeks)
  • gratitude for the current financial means we do have, and the compassion that my partner and I were able to show one another in tackling some of our concerns in this a bit more head-on
  • gratitude for lack of rain when we needed to be outside all Saturday afternoon, and the beautiful day we were able to have.

lens of gratitude

Doesn’t this list sound a lot less hostile than the beginning of this post? If I had engaged in this type of thinking, it is quite possible that I would have had a different outcome regarding my stress level and functionality. When God said “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness”, he meant it (2 Cor. 12:9a). God’s comfort and the power we receive from him in the midst of struggle or more challenging week is our greatest strength. To engage in this is to further our personal relationship with Christ, as well as slow down our minds and bodies to better experience the joy in the midst of struggle.

With that being said, my lens of gratitude is screwed back on, and personal time for self-care is an absolute priority this week as it should always be. How does your lens of gratitude and personal time in prayer affect how you experience life? I would love to hear your hearts.

Stay tuned,