Part of contentment is being in the present moment. I have one past hospice patient who is a great teacher of well-being and hygge (she is doing well and no longer qualifies for hospice).
Glenda has cerebral palsy and lives her life from bed to wheelchair. She is married and has one grown-up daughter. Glenda is a person who has learned to make the best of her situation. She stays content because she surrounds herself with all the things that she enjoys. Glenda loves her tablet, reality TV shows, conversations with people around her, aromatherapy diffuser, fuzzy socks, favorite foods, and trinkets on her shelf. She makes herself cozy, and she creates her own world (even in the confinement of a nursing home).
When I was with Glenda, she showed that she cared about me by actively listening. She wanted to know more about me (active interest in others = loving-kindness). She was in the present moment. She had a strong faith in God and trusted that everything would be okay.
Glenda was never bored. She kept herself busy and allowed her life to flow. She mindfully connected with everything in her life. Glenda made a conscious choice to stay positive.
“Hygge” is a Danish and Norwegian word for coziness and contentment. Hygge is about slowing down and keeping things simple. It is an attitude of positivity and acceptance. It is making the most out of every day. Some people think the word “hygge” comes from the word “hugge” or “hug.”
Here are some simple ways to incorporate Hygge (pronounced hoo-ga) into your life:
- Use candles (real ones or battery operated ones)
- Soft music
- Comfy clothes
- Hot bath
- Eat ice cream
- Have sincere conversations with loved ones
- Play board games or card games
- Snuggle with loved ones or pets
- Write letters and read books
- Work on crafts or projects
- Go phone free
- Gather around a bon fire
- Connect with nature