Hygge is one of my favourite words now! What is HyggeHippie and do these words blend so well together?
Hygge!! (pronounced hoo-guh) is not only fun to say but it’s an amazingly simple & beautiful lifestyle choice! Since a young age, I was often referred to as the ‘hippie’ amongst my friends, school mates, peers, colleagues, even my family. When I decided to start sharing my experience with Hygge and how it has helped me overcome my personal and health challenges, The Hygge Hippie embraced exactly the version of myself that I was aspiring to become.
How were you first introduced to the Hygge lifestyle?
I often tell people that it was Hygge that found me. What seemed like out of nowhere, suddenly I kept seeing Hygge everywhere. It was on my social media feeds, I listened to interviews on the radio and on local news segments. I’m convinced that it was divinely sent to me from the universe to help me heal my heart and transform my life.
You said before that it’s a “feeling” and not an “image”. What does this mean to you?
When looking up Hygge, you’ll probably come across a lot of images of cups of coffee, candles, fireplaces, cozy sweaters and blankets. These are elements that are often used to create a Hygge moment but they are not Hygge. Hygge is mindfully experiencing the ordinary moments that fill our days. We add these commonly used elements to enhance our “Hygge moment”. The end result is mindfully experiencing our feelings of coziness, comfort & connection during these Hygge moments.
It`s these feelings that have the amazing ability to heal us. For someone that is easily overcome with anxiety, worry, sadness, critical self-judgement.. seeking out and creating these moments of Hygge throughout my day has helped me to change my thought processes. I can now with ease, bring myself back into the present moment so that I can experience the joy in the ordinary. My daily life is filled with these moments of Hygge that result in an abundance of true and simple happiness.
How do you and your family live this new lifestyle and how has it changed all of you and your connections- to each other and the world around you?
Wow! When I first started to challenge myself to seek out or create a Hygge moment in my day, I was in a very dark and sad place in my life. I was struggling with undiagnosed post-partum depression, anxiety disorder and hypothyroidism. My relationship with my husband at that time was sadly very distant and filled with a lot of resentment. My relationship with my daughter was not as I had envisioned it to be.
I started with small things to incorporate more Hygge into our family life. Taking my daughter out for adventures for instance was something I started doing on a more regular basis. Before she was born I was an avid adventurer, I had lost that part of myself. We stopped committing to doing things that I didn’t want to do. Instead we packed a bag of snacks and supplies and spent our daysexploring local beaches or going for hikes or bike rides. No agenda – just casual exploring. Not only were we connecting with nature and getting some quality physical activity into our daily routine, but I was also connecting with my daughter the way I had hoped I would.
In addition to Hygge, there is another Scandinavian term – LAGOM, meaning not too much, not too little. With this concept in mind, I started to de-clutter our home and my desire to live a more minimal and simple lifestyle also helped me to overcome some addictive and poor spending habits. This alone had previously placed a lot of tension between my husband and I. Focusing on this one area of my life has helped us to mend our relationship.
I always have candles lit throughout the day as they truly do enhance the cozy factor in my home. We set the table, light candles and eat dinner together. We disconnect from our phones, turn off the television and play together or snuggle and read books. We are living simply, slowly and at the same time deepening our connection with each other. Hygge is at the heart of our home.
When we talked, you had said you were a hippie and then left that lifestyle for a while. Can you share more about this with me? Why did you leave living in this way and how did your heart lead you back to your the self?
For a long time I felt that when someone referred to me as a hippie I was ashamed. I felt judged and not taken seriously. In my early adult years I wanted to desperately connect with my peers and I didn`t feel that I was capable of doing that by being true to myself. I often felt the expectation to go to school and find a successful career was the only option for me. So I spent most of my twenties trying to keep up with those expectations. Time and again though, it seemed to always fail me in some way or another.
Deep within me though was the same little girl that wanted to walk through the forest barefoot, talking with the animals, practicing yoga and connecting with myself, nature and the universe. During my biggest life transformation after I found Hygge, it felt like all of a sudden it was so clear to me! Just be yourself! Remarkably, since I shook off my old self and started living my life true to the hippie within me, I was suddenly becoming surrounded with like-minded people. I was making new friends and business collaboration partners that were also being true to their own inner hippie. I felt like I was welcomed into an energy shifting community, I found my place in the world, I found my tribe! This is exactly where I was destined to be!
You talked about postpartum depression. When we’re you first diagnosed? Do you know before that what your feelings were telling you?
I was first diagnosed with post-partum depression in December 2017, my daughter was 20 months old at the time. I have suffered from depression since my early teens, so I was really quite familiar with the shadows that would fill my mind and heart with sadness and loneliness. Post-partum felt different to me, as being a mother, I think we become so preoccupied and consumed with our responsibilities to care for our children, our partners and managing our homes that we often put ourselves and our feelings aside to deal with at another time. Although I felt that I knew I was suffering from post-partum depression, I just didn’t give it the attention that I should have. Somedays I feel really sad that I missed out on that first year and a bit with my daughter because I simply was not finding the joy in being a mother. However, I made the very conscious choice to take care of myself and to make the changes that I needed to make to create the life that I wanted. It’s not easy, and some days still prove to be difficult, but Hygge has taught me how to live mindfully, how to be aware of my feelings and how to simply transition them into something that is comforting and calming. Each day is a new opportunity for us to make an intentional change in the things that are preventing us from being the best version of ourselves.
I feel like you will talk about this with so many more woman and the healing within you will heal others. How do you hope and plan to help other woman in this way?
I have been receiving such amazing support locally within my community. Because yes, there are so many women who are very likely experiencing something very similar to what I went through. I’m heading out locally to offer Hygge workshops and speaking engagements that will hopefully inspire others who are struggling with their own personal challenges. Perhaps Hygge will be the tool that they also want to use to help them on their journey. I’m also working closely with a local family program coordinator and incorporating my Hygge journey into a take home resource for new mothers and mothers that continue to struggle with finding the joy in motherhood. I’m hopeful that this particular initiative will grow beyond my community and will be a resource offered to mothers globally.
I was so excited to hear that you will be launching your own connect and challenge! What can your audience and followers expect to see with this launch ?
YES!! I’m excited too! I’m just in the final phase of my #hyggehealingchallenge expected to launch in late March! There will be a hardcopy of the challenge available to purchase that includes an interactive journaling calendar, or e-books and downloadable versions will also be available! There will be a closed Facebook page to connect with all the other Hygge Healing Challenge participants and of course I’ll be available for ongoing 1 on 1 support. The second phase of the challenge will be offering the Hygge Healing Kit! It’ll be filled with locally sourced Canadian made Hygge elements – slippers, blankets, beeswax candles… After that!? Who knows!
How can people find you and connect with you?
I promote only on social media right now – hopefully a website will be developed over time, but for now, people can find me on Instagram and Facebook @hyggehippie. I’m also new to YouTube and uploading Hygge Hippie Talks – a series of themed discussions on how Hygge can transform our lives.