Keep calm and Hygge on
Updated: Mar 24, 2020
During a pandemic, it's easy to stay glued to the news, your feeds, sit in front of your computer, the tele and do nothing but panic. Being anxious about something you have little to no control over is not only unproductive, it's unhealthy. So I've come up with a list of some easy ways to say calm and hygge on. Especially for those in quarantine. And remember to social distance and wash your hands!
1. Set a schedule of any kind: setting up a schedule is the best way to keep from feeling bored, stressed, or not productive. When I was out at sea for a few months, we had only 2 unscheduled days, because without a schedule, one could easily panic about not seeing land for weeks at a time. It doesn't need to be anything strict, just create some time blocks for certain activities. Here are some examples, because let's be real, you'll never ever get 8 hours of straight work in.
For kids (ideally giving you time to telework):
Breakfast & get dressed
Long walk outside (no matter the weather!)
Quiet time (couple of hrs, self play, boardgames)
Something productive (cleaning, organizing, gardening)
Shower and change
Movie, books, audio books
Teleworking without kids:
Coffee & meditation & list tasks to accomplish
Long walk outside or online active workout indoors
Work for 2 hours
Read news and social media for 30 min
Work for 1 hour
Clean or organize or insert hobby
Work for 2 hours
Read or go for a walk while calling a friend
Work for 1 hour
Meal plan, bake, order stuff online, plan in advance
Set schedule for tomorrow, finish working
Movie or read
2. Declutter and sterilize: Having an organized and clean place helps calm the mind, make better decisions, and be more productive. The mess just adds to the stress. See if you can tackle one corner or room early in the morning and the more you do, the easier it will be to tackle the rest. While you're at it, do a deep clean of everything, disinfect your home, wipe down door knobs and handles.
3. Getting outdoors and keeping active. Move. Move outside if you can (social distancing like taking a hike), a morning walk, or doing a quick 20-30 minute online workout. Something to get you moving forward so feels like you're making progress. The added benefit of being outdoors is to feel grounded, to connect via all the senses, to feel like this too shall pass. Nothing more hygge than feeling all the feels in the moment.
4. Stop grazing and make a homemade snack: Can't. stop. snacking. When. you telework you are in such close proximity to your pantry and fridge, it's nearly impossible not to eat. All. Day. Making something homemade, makes you earn the snack. I'm not talking in terms of calories, I'm talking in terms of time (the highest currency). Baking or creating healthy snacks or bread or dessert is not only the hygge thing to do, it makes you appreciate the food even more. You've witness the effort going into it and you're less flippant about devouring it all immediately.
5. Only check the news once or twice: Assign one to two times during the day where you are going to check in on the world around you. While it's great to be informed, it's less beneficial to obsess over your news feed, refresh the John's Hopkins map, or to ever be on twitter (sorry twitter fans). The intensity of the pandemic can be all consuming because the entire world is talking about it. You can do more for others, if you feel safe, secure, and grounded. That's not to say blissful ignorant, that's just to say you're in control.
6. Don't worry, be happy: Play music, sit in the sun, breath, meditate, sip on some wine. Do anything that hits your core and makes you feel warm, in control, protected, and okay. The amazing thing about this pandemic, is how interconnected we all are. For many generations, this is the first we've ever felt the same vibration across the entire globe. We are truly all in it together and by doing our small part, we can help others. Hygge is that moment when you feel most human, content, alive, and with purpose.
7. Create a safe space: Designate and create a safe and quiet space where you can go when you feel overwhelmed. It should be a clean and calming zone, with neutrals and plenty of sunlight. A little nook where you can sit and read a book, meditate, or just breathe. Maybe a no-kids corner just for you. Gaze out the window, reflect on what you are grateful for and how this too shall pass. A hygge corner should ground you and bring you back to basics, to what matters most.
8. Designate rooms/corners: Speaking of designating a corner, make sure to designate each room with a purpose. Or if you reside in a spared space or studio or one bedroom, designate corners. Don't do everything in the kitchen. Do work in one room, eat in another, and sleep in another. I have a lego city in my dinning room, a fort town in my living room, and a painting extravaganza on the porch. The breakfast nook is for school and my office is for me. If you have fewer rooms, make each corner a reading space, work space, exercise space, or phone call space.
9. Connect with friends virtually. Hygge is not only about a sense of coziness in quarantine, its also about togetherness. While we cannot physically be together, you still need your support group. Actually support from friends and family is even more crucial at this time. Group WhatsApp video or Skype video chats are a great way to connect. Or Netflix also launched a Netflix virtual party where you can host a watching party and all your friends can join in, comment, talk, video, and laugh. You have controls over the movie so you can pause for commentary. Genius.
10. Start a hobby: I know there is something you've always wanted to do, try, get better at, but haven't had the time. Take advantage of a wiped clean schedule to finally tackle that hobby! It could be painting, knitting, writing, singing, scrapbooking, baking, running, yoga, DIYing, an online course or certification. For example, if you've always wanted to learn more about interior design, check out @thedayshift_ on instagram.
Send us a message on instagram if you have any other ideas!
Mind the Hygge
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