Hygge is defined as “a quality of coziness that engenders a feeling of well-being.” Never before has hygge been more important.
If we are to maintain perspective, which is the lifeblood for writers of all kinds, we must prioritize hygge and other types of self-care as critical elements for survival in the next few months.
Lucky for freelance writers, hygge principles can help us both as writers and as humans. Here is how:
As a society, we have become accustomed to running from work to errands to social engagements and having very little downtime.
Well here we are now – at home. All. The. Time.
This slow down is providing time to practice hygge. We have time to process life, rather than buzz through it at lightning speed. We have time to reflect.
I noticed the spring blooms on the tree outside our kitchen window for what seems like the first time even though we’ve lived in the same house for over ten years.
Slowing down, noticing the little things, breathing deeply and luxuriating in this homebound state feels a little lazy sometimes. It’s not. It’s healthy for our thought processes, our relationships and, as freelance writers, our careers.
When we rest our minds, we feed our souls, and our creativity gets a boost. According to a psychology professor, giving ourselves permission to take the time to really look and reflect can activate our brains to generate ideas that achieve more novelty, appeal and individuality.
So, if you’re about to embark on a big writing project and you feel like you’re on the precipice of a really interesting piece, rather than dive right in, consider taking a different approach.
Let your ideas marinate. Be intentional and deliberate about this.
Either before you begin or at your first pause, give yourself time to take a break. Let your mind wander as you go for a walk, lay in a hammock, or watch how the sun changes your surroundings every hour or so, but be sure to get out into nature. It’s been well proven that spending time in nature not only reduces anxiety, but it inspires creativity.
I can’t name a time when I wouldn’t welcome a bit more creativity, can you?
Control What You Can Control
As you maintain your focus upon the aspects of life over which you have control, you are less likely to have room to focus upon your panicked thoughts and worries.
Use hygge to help turn your focus away, as much as possible, from the economic downturn. Instead luxuriate in the sunshine outside, cuddle up with your kid or your dog – or both! – and soak in this unique opportunity to be still and quiet. This will turn your focus toward the present moment and the aspects of life over which you do, in fact, have control.
And all the while, your mind is working in the background preparing to come back to your writing refreshed and ready to go.
Hygge can take many different forms and mean different things to different people. The main takeaway should be that you are worthy of self-care and whatever time and process it takes to find your best mental headspace.
This is always true and important, but now more than ever.
Before you know it, we’ll be through this crisis and this quarantine and back to our crazy busy lives. So rather than wish this time away, soak it in. Consider what you want to make of this time – both as a human and as a writer.