ZEN TIP TUESDAY #21
For ZTT #21 I welcome myself! Hello – I’m Min from Write of the Middle! Yes you read right! Hey, it’s my party and I can play too if I want to! 😄
I wanted to throw in a simple little ‘Gem of Zen’ that contributes to me feeling a sense of zen, and I’ll post some more down the track as well. This one relates to a rainy day, the Danish word ‘hygge’, a nice hot drink, blankets, a good book or maybe some crochet, and lying about on a cosy lounge or sofa. I hope you enjoy!
If you’re joining us for ZTT Link-Up #019 – welcome and I look forward to reading your post! Please be aware that the last ZTT Link-Up will be #020 next week on Tuesday 18 June. It will then cease. More details on why I have decided to cease the link-up can be found in my introduction for ZTT #20 last week.
Today I’m flying to Melbourne with my daughter. We’re going to be seeing the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child productions tomorrow which I’ve very much been looking forward to. Anyway, since I’m travelling and away from home, it might be a while before I can respond to comments and read and comment on any posts linked up, but I promise I will get to it as soon as I can!
Give yourself permission to just be
Sometimes we need to give ourselves permission to just be. Stop the striving. Stop the achieving. Stop the productivity & creativity, turn off the television, switch off from social media, get away from technology, and just be.
We can plan activities and put aside time to try and achieve this but sometimes opportunities are presented to us. We need to recognise these opportunities and take advantage of them whenever we can. We deserve it!
One such opportunity for me, and maybe for you too, is a rainy day. A cold and rainy day is even better and if it happens to fall on a weekend or a day where there are no urgent or necessary plans, bingo! Maybe it’s an evening – perfect! Switch off that TV and read on.
For some reason, I find a rainy day or evening much easier than other times to give myself that permission to relax. The sound of rain is relaxing to start with, add in some thunder and cold and the comforting feeling of being inside safe and warm, and there’s my cue to take this opportunity to enjoy and just be. Here’s the sound of rain to help set the scene for this post (note that this video goes for over 10 hrs so on this occasion maybe just listen for the duration of reading this post or until the next video 😂).
So we’ve established that the sound of rain is calming, soothing and relaxing.
Many guided meditations have the sound of rain as background noise and many people seek the sound of rain in apps to help them fall asleep at night. This is because the sound of rain is a form of ‘white noise’. White noise is well known to help to relax you and also help you to sleep.
Cosy and Hygge
There’s something so beautifully relaxing, soothing, and calming about feeling safe and warm and cosy inside. The Danish call it ‘Hygge’. Hygge (pronounced Hue-Guh) is a Danish word used to acknowledge a special feeling or moment. It can be alone or with friends, at home or out, ordinary or extraordinary, but always cosy, charming or special.
This is the feeling that I get when it’s cold, raining and/or storming outside and I am snug inside curled up with a hot drink, blankets, a good book, or maybe even crocheting. Here’s a quick video (3 mins 45 secs) that explains Hygge a little more. Warning … watching this will RELAX you!
So it’s raining and cold outside. We have the beautiful white noise of rain to listen to. We’ve switched off our devices, including the television! We might light some candles and create a soothing and relaxing atmosphere. We have a lovely warm cup of tea or coffee or maybe a hot chocolate. We curl up somewhere comfy with a blanket and then we indulge in some reading or maybe some crocheting or knitting. Whatever you would like to do. Maybe you just lie back and close your eyes! Maybe you’re listening to music. The key is to consciously be kind to yourself, to fill yourself up with the things you love, have a sense of gratitude, and a feeling of safety and cosy relaxation.
Obviously, by relaxing our mind, body and spirit there are many benefits to our wellbeing. There have been a variety of benefits tied to the practice of Hygge. Happiness researchers continually find Denmark to have some of the happiest people on Earth, which Danes attribute to the practice of Hygge. Feeling increased happiness could certainly be a perk of practicing Hygge, but there may be other emotional, physical and relationship benefits as well.
- Less depression and anxiety
- Increased feelings of self-worth
- Increased optimism
- Lowered stress
- Greater sense of mindfulness
- Improved self-compassion
- Increased practice of gratitude
- Improved sleep
- Weight regulation
- Fewer cortisol (stress hormone) spikes
- Improved practice of self-care
- Reduced need for unhealthy coping behaviors like alcohol or drugs
- Focus on togetherness
- Feelings of comfort and safety
- Increased trust
- Increased intimacy
- New social connections
- Improved existing relationships
- Less reliance on social media
So, what better to bring you some zen but to disconnect from technology, enjoy some white noise in the form of rain, combined with some comfort and indulgences in a cosy indoor ‘hygge’ environment? I feel relaxed and more zen-like just by writing and putting together this post.
There are other ways I achieve the sense of Hygge too, and I’ll share those over time as well. In the meantime, I hope that you recognise and take advantage of opportunities to just BE, and get yourself some Hygge – all the cool kids are doing it!
Do you love a rainy day or evening? Do you take the opportunity to really savour it? What gives you the ‘Hygge’ feeling?
Ciao for now,
ZTT LINK-UP #019
You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Nice post. I tend to get distracted by the laptop – need to work on that. Getting much better with the phone…My youngest in primary school has taken to lighting candles when watching a movie (no idea where this came from) – so she has in built Hygge I suspect. They weren’t even out. She found them in a draw -all coloured tea light holders and a lantern….
My phone is what distracts me far too much. Your daughter is on to a good thing! I adore lit candles – they tend to relax me. I love to lie in a bath (usually with epsom salts/magnesium) and have the bathroom lit only by candles and nice relaxing music. Sooooo good! 🙂
Have a wonderful time with your daughter in Melbourne. I am to Sydney to visit Dad and replenish his freezer with meals. I loved your post.
Denyse, it was fabulous! The HP productions were brilliant. Best thing I’ve ever seen! The trip to Melbourne went by far too quickly but it was fantastic. I’m so pleased you enjoyed the post. 🙂 xo
There’s something about rain that feels like permission to stop. I was looking over facebook memories as yesterday was my 2 year tonsillectomy anniversary and it was a great time to have a rainy week, it made it easier to stay in bed like I was supposed to!
It sounds over simplistic (I think) but getting a couch in my study has given me a hygge environment. It’s a great place to curl up with a book and a blanket.
You’re so right Vanessa! There’s something about rainy days that seems to make it easier for us to stop and relax. Perfect that it was rainy weather while you recovered from your surgery! Good for you for creating a hygge environment in your study! I think hygge is a simple thing but oh so good for us! 🙂
I know people are always “don’t sweat the small stuff” but the small stuff can make such a difference in a day! If that’s a couch or a smile or whatever.
Love that cozy hygge feeling!
Enjoy your trip to Melbourne together, how special xx
I do too Chelsey! The trip to Melbourne was fabulous! Loved every moment! 🙂 xo
I love the whole idea of Hygge – & the Scottish version which I think is called coorie and has me picturing crofts with roaring fires, plaid blankets, & a dram of peaty scotch…
Ooo I hadn’t heard of the Scottish version ‘coorie’! YES to roaring fires, blankets and a warming drop to drink!
I’m with you on the rainy days – particularly if you can be at home and have time to hibernate or ponder. They’re days I love, particularly in winter.
I must think about white noise as an option. I can’t write / read with tv / music or anything but probably like reading in the bath because I have the exhaust fan on. When in bed at night I often have a meditation recording playing in the background. I wonder if white noise might also help when I’m writing or trying to concentrate…. not silence but not something I need to listen to.
I love rainy days in winter too Deb – love them! White noise is an interesting topic. I know people who have a particular white noise fan they put on at night that helps them sleep!
Hi Min – I am a big fan of being inside on a cold day in my “comfy” pants with a coffee and a book (and a cat or two). I’m forever grateful for home heating and electric blankets. Lovely post and I’ll be following along to see where you go next if you’re finishing your ZTT series. xx Onward and upward!
Yes to your cold rainy day description – just insert my ‘Ava’ instead of the cats! lol On another topic – I’m not finishing my ZTT series. I’m only ending the link-up aspect of it. The series will continue … but probably on a more ad hoc basis rather than weekly. xo
Hi Min, as a somewhat ‘regular’ visitor to Denmark and Sweden I love the term hygge and all it entails. Your tips are spot on and I love rainy days too! Great post for this time of year 🙂 #Lifethisweek
Lucky you having been to Denmark and Sweden, Deb! I would love to go to those places. I love the concept of Hygge and seek out any opportunity to benefit from it. Sure is a good time of year for a post like this! LOL xo
White noise is a great help to many. I haven’t had to use it much anymore but for a while I did. You can get apps with white noise but I know some people who leave a fan on for the ‘noise’
Thank you for linking up for #lifethisweek. Next week we are HALF-way in our #ltw prompts for 2019 and this one is Share Your Snaps. Hope to see you there! Denyse.
I know people who use a fan at night as white noise too Denyse. It’s good you don’t need it to sleep anymore!