Hygge as a Lifestyle – Part Three

Welcome to the third and final post in my series “Hygge as a Lifestyle.” Let me first reinstate the definition of hygge. Hygge is a Danish word meaning “comfort, warmth, and togetherness.” In Part One of this series, I wrote about the importance of unplugging from technology in order to fully experience the hygge lifestyle. In Part Two, I encouraged my readers to evaluate your environments, wardrobes, and schedules. In my third and final point, I want to focus on the “togetherness” aspect of hygge.

Once you have made your environment comfortable and warm and purposefully set aside times away from technology, it is now time to reconnect.

hygge as a lifestyle


With God

Curling up with a hot drink and a good book sounds attractive. So why not curl up with the Good Book. Spending quiet time reading God’s Word, praying, and journaling is an amazing way of reconnecting with our Creator. Turn on some soulful music, get out one of your favourite journals, and spend some time talking to God. I can’t think of a more comforting, hygge activity. Experiencing “togetherness” with other believers is also extremely important for a healthy, thriving spiritual life. Creating a comfortable “togetherness” with other believers may be easier in a small, informal setting. Hosting a weekly Bible study with just a few people is a great example. This gives you an opportunity to read together and share your thoughts openly on spiritual matters.

reconnect with god
Reconnect with God through Bible reading and journaling

With Yourself

Many people fear being alone. They fear quietness. They are afraid that spending time alone will make them antisocial. While there are definite benefits of spending time with God and others (see points above and below), there is also a great benefit of reconnecting with yourself. That, of course, requires time alone.

I encourage you to sit in silence for a few minutes each day and reflect on your purpose, your dreams, and your personality. Find a comfortable place to curl up and make notes in a colourful notebook. Get to know yourself. Until you fully understand what matters most to you and what makes you “tick” as an individual, you will not be able to properly relate to God or to others.

Once you get to know yourself, you will realize why you respond the way you do in certain situations. You’ll be able to explain to others why certain things are important to you. This will greatly improve your relationships. I also firmly believe that this will strength your relationship with God. God is all about having a personal relationship with each one of us. How one person worships God may not be how someone else needs to worship. While scripture gives us definite lists of things that God likes and doesn’t like, it does not in any way imply a cookie-cutter relationship with God. He created us each uniquely and with unique ways to worship Him. Getting to know yourself will help you discover the best way for you to worship.

With Others

When we think of creating “togetherness,” the first thing that comes to mind is usually our family and close friends.

There are a host of activities that can be enjoyed as a family. This includes playing games, sitting by the campfire, singing, baking, and even working together. Just google “family activities” and you will find a plethora of ideas. Sometimes just sitting and talking can also be enjoyable. Things to talk about can include happy memories, future vacations, or family projects.

reconnect with family
Reconnect with family by playing games together such as yard dominoes

The list is also endless for activities to do with friends. Many people find it enjoyable to craft together (think scrapbooking, sewing, etc) while others enjoy talking about their lives over a cup of coffee.

Find something enjoyable to do with each of your family members and close friends to fully experience the hygge lifestyle.

What are your thoughts on creating a hygge lifestyle? Be sure to share your ideas in the comments.

Until next week, God Bless!


Hygge as a Lifestyle – Part Two

Hygge. That has become one of my favourite words. That’s why I decided to write a series on living a hygge lifestyle. Last week, I briefly defined the word “hygge” and shared my first tip for experiencing a hygge lifestyle. If you missed Part One be sure to read it. I have two more points I want to share, and today I will be writing about my second point.

hygge as a lifestyle

So, my second point is:


Evaluate Your Environment

Look around your living environment. How does the “stuff” there make you feel? Do you feel overwhelmed by the mass amount of your belongings? This might be a good time to do some de-cluttering. Maybe your space doesn’t look comforting to you because it is too empty. Your home is a great place to display your mementos, heirlooms, and all the “stuff” you love.

things I love
I fill my living environment with things I love

You might also want to look at the decorating colours you have chosen. I don’t have the space in this article to discuss colour psychology in depth, but studies have shown that there is a definite link between colours and our moods.¹ If you want to experience hygge, you might want to try decorating with browns, greens, and blues as these colours have proven to be the most peaceful and calming.²

We all know how important comfortable furniture is when you want to relax. So that is another great thing to evaluate in your environment. Make sure that you have at least a couple furniture pieces that call your name.

If there are a lot of people who live in your house, you may want to ensure that each person has their own room/space that they can personalize and where they can relax.

Evaluate Your Wardrobe

Another thing to evaluate when attempting to develop a hygge lifestyle, is your wardrobe. How comfortable are your clothes and shoes? I am definitely writing about physical comfort. It’s hard to have a feeling of hygge if your sweater is irritating your skin or your shoes are too tight. However, I also think that your clothes should also be emotionally comfortable. Do you feel confident in your clothes or do you feel conspicuous? We all have a different style so I am a strong believer that we should not merely attempt to blend in with the crowd. But, I think that most of us know what it is like to wear something that makes us feel self conscious and definitely not hyggly.

clothes you love
Keep only the clothes that you love and feel comfortable wearing

Colour is also important in your wardrobe. I have personally found that the colour I wear, affects how I feel that day (or perhaps how I feel that morning determines the colour I wear!). Evaluate your wardrobe and decide what makes you feel comfortable.

Evaluate Your Schedule

Hygge “activities” (such as curling up on the couch and reading a good book or playing a board game as a family) don’t usually just happen. In our fast-paced modern lives, hygge time is something has to be scheduled into our lives.

Schedule hygge “activities”

Next week, I’ll be sharing my third and final point in the series of “Hygge as a Lifestyle.”

Until then, have a hygge day!


1 You can read this article about colour and behaviour this in the The New York Times.

2 To read more about colour properties be sure to check out this article from Colour Affects.



Hygge as a Lifestyle – Part One

There is a term that has been sweeping the internet for the last couple of years and that term is “hygge.” What is hygge?

Hygge is a Danish word made famous by Meik Wiking in his book “The Little Book of Hygge: the Danish Way to Live Well.” He describes hygge as meaning comfort, warmth, and togetherness. It is about finding happiness and comfort in the simple everyday things of life. When I first heard this word and its meaning, I was over-the-top excited. It described the exact lifestyle I have been trying to live. Now I have an actual word to describe it!

That is why I am super excited to share with you my ideas on how to create a hygge lifestyle. I will be sharing these ideas over the next three weeks so be sure to stay tuned for the next two articles on this topic.

My first tip is in many ways the most important, but yet the most difficult. Here it is:


So much of our lives seem to be controlled by technology. We use it for work, and we use it for play. While no one can refute that technology can be very useful, studies have shown that technology has a major negative impact on our brain health. The Guardian published an article called Why the Modern World is Bad for Your Brain, in which neuroscientist Daniel J. Levitin states the following:

“Our brains are busier than ever before. We’re assaulted with facts, pseudo facts, jibber-jabber, and rumour, all posing as information. Trying to figure out what you need to know and what you can ignore is exhausting. At the same time, we are all doing more. Thirty years ago, travel agents made our airline and rail reservations, salespeople helped us find what we were looking for in shops, and professional typists or secretaries helped busy people with their correspondence. Now we do most of those things ourselves. We are doing the jobs of 10 different people while still trying to keep up with our lives, our children and parents, our friends, our careers, our hobbies, and our favourite TV shows.

…Our smartphones have become Swiss army knife–like appliances that include a dictionary, calculator, web browser, email, Game Boy, appointment calendar, voice recorder, guitar tuner, weather forecaster, GPS, texter, tweeter, Facebookupdater, and flashlight.

….Even though we think we’re getting a lot done, ironically, multitasking makes us demonstrably less efficient. Multitasking has been found to increase the production of the stress hormone cortisol as well as the fight-or-flight hormone adrenaline, which can overstimulate your brain and cause mental fog or scrambled thinking. Multitasking creates a dopamine-addiction feedback loop, effectively rewarding the brain for losing focus and for constantly searching for external stimulation.”

That sounds exactly the opposite of hygge. So if you want to experience a hygge lifestyle, you must deliberately unplug during times when the use of technology is not absolutely required. This could include reading printed paper books, writing in an actual notebook, or playing old-fashioned type games. Maybe it’s time to go back to Grandma’s crossword puzzles, Dad’s paper-backed dictionary, or Mom’s pocket planner.

Unplugging is an important step in achieving a hygge lifestyle

Unplugging is also vital in reconnecting with others. As mentioned at the beginning of this article, the definition of hygge includes “togetherness.” It is difficult to experience “togetherness” when each individual is swallowed up in their own phone. Though called “social” media, this modern phenomena is anything but social. Real socializing begins when the phones are put down and the computer and TV are shut off. Then we can take time to re-connect in a real, not virtual, environment.

I encourage you this weekend to unplug and experience a little bit of hyyge.

Until next week, have a hygge life!


Exciting New Blog Posts in 2018

Getting something new is always exciting. Most of us received new things for Christmas which is always enjoyable. However, for me, the most exciting thing about this season is the idea of a new year. The new year seems like a good time to set new goals or take on new hobbies or activities. Of course, we all now how quickly our resolutions die. I gave up on resolutions! Instead, I often make a list of goals for the year and check back throughout the year on my progress.

Over the past couple weeks, I have been making goals for my blog. I am looking forward to 2018 and have lots of ideas I am itching to share. Here are just a few of the topics I plan to cover:

  • Tips for beating S.A.D. (Seasonal Affective Disorder)
  • The Freedom of Decluttering
  • Hygge as a Lifestyle
  • Signs of an Unhealthy Relationship
  • Paint with Me (video)
  • Creating a Capsule Wardrobe
  • many, many more!

Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss any of my upcoming posts!

I want to take this opportunity to thank each of my readers for your ongoing support. The last three months since starting my blog have been extremely rewarding. Not only do I take pleasure in seeing the views I get from all the world, I enjoy interacting with you. I especially love hearing your ideas and suggestions. So together, let’s have an amazing 2018!

God bless and have a Happy New Year!



The Poppy – A Symbol of Hope

It is Remembrance Day here in Canada, and across the country crowds are gathering at cenotaphs to remember our fallen soldiers. On each person’s coat lapel is pinned a red poppy. A symbol of remembrance. In today’s post, I would like to drew attention to something else that the poppy represents – hope.

Many years ago while still living with our parents, my sister purchased a package of biennial poppy seeds and planted them in her own flower garden. In the following years, the wind carried those poppy seeds across the yard, and poppies began to grow everywhere. We let them grow where they liked. How could we destroy such beautiful flowers? We even allowed them to take over the entire end of our vegetable garden. Every year, we had our own field of poppies. As the years have passed, my sister’s bed has been removed as has the vegetable garden. The gardens were re-landscaped, and a gravel pathway was laid down. That doesn’t matter to the poppies; they still come up every year forcing their way through the gravel. We let them bloom and then rip them out to be thrown away, but they leave their seeds behind for the next year. It is almost impossible to eradicate them.

Death and Resurrection

For hundreds of years, the poppy has been seen as a symbol of death and resurrection. The field poppy grows where nothing else will grow. The seeds will lay dormant in the ground until spring when the soil is disturbed and then the poppy springs to life. That is why in the battle fields of Europe the poppy was often the only thing that grew. On the brown, lifeless, muddy battle ground, the seed lay dormant until the soldiers churned up the soil in battle. This was also true for the soldiers’ burial grounds in Belgium called Flanders Fields. Too often the ground was dug up for graves, and too often the troops rallied around those graves for solemn tribute to their fallen comrades. But on the field of death, sprang life – the vibrant life of a red poppy.

In May of 1915, Canadian doctor Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae presided over the funeral of his friend and comrade at Flanders Fields in the cover of darkness (for security reasons). The following day, while looking across the field to the grave of his friend, McCrae penned the words to the poem “In Flanders Fields.”

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place: and in the sky
The larks still bravely singing fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead: Short days ago,
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved: and now we lie
In Flanders fields!

Take up our quarrel with the foe
To you, from failing hands, we throw
The torch: be yours to hold it high
If ye break faith with us who die,
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

The poem starts out sombre but soon turns to a rousing plea to those who remain. It even states that the fallen soldiers do not really sleep. Its lyrics lead from grief into hope.

From Trash to Fame

Even the story of the poem itself is one of hope. After showing the poem to a fellow soldier, McCrae threw it in the garbage. Later, his friend retrieved it and encouraged McCrae to submit it to a magazine. It was send to The Spectator, but it was rejected. Later, it was submitted to Punch who published it on December 8, 1915. The poem went from the garbage to being one of the most famous poems of recent history.

Beauty from Ashes

While the poppy is certainly a symbol of remembrance (I wear one every year for this purpose), it is also a symbol of hope. God will allow good and beautiful things to come from sad and difficult times in our lives. Isaiah 61:3 says, “To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes…” Even from disaster something beautiful can grow.

One of my favourite songs from the classic Chitty Chitty Bang Bang movie is “Up from the Ashes Grow the Roses of Success.” The first verse says:

Every bursted bubble has a glory!
Each abysmal failure makes a point!
Every glowing path that goes astray,
Shows you how to find a better way.
So every time you stumble never grumble.
Next time you’ll bumble even less!
For up from the ashes, up from the ashes, grow the roses of success!
Grow the roses!
Grow the roses!
Grow the roses of success!
Oh yes!
Grow the roses!
Those rosy roses!
From the ashes of disaster grow the roses of success!

Perhaps we could substitute the words to say “up from the battle grounds grow the poppies of hope.”

The next time you are facing a “battle” in your life, remember the poppy.



My Top Favourite Non-Fiction Books

Who doesn’t love to read a good book? While I enjoy a good fiction book, I also love to read non-fiction books that add meaning and perspective to my life. I’m going to share with you four of my favourites.

God Speaks Your Love Language

“How to Feel and Reflect God’s Love”
by Gary Chapman

Dr. Chapman presents the five different love languages and explains that each of us has a dominant one. This is the language that makes us feel the most loved, and what we speak to show others our love. In human relationships, it is sometimes hard to understand the love languages that others are speaking. Also, it can be difficult to learn how to speak a new language so that you can positively connect with someone (although it is definitely worth it). The amazing thing is, that because God created each of us uniquely and gave us each a specific language, He completely understands and speaks all five love languages. Dr. Chapman explains that as we connect more deeply with God by speaking our love language, we will also see a major impact on our relationships with others.

I also have The Five Love Languages Singles Edition. Dr. Chapman has written editions for couples, teenagers, and children.


“Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman’s Soul”
by John and Stasi Eldredge

In a world where women are given many different messages about what femininity means, this book takes us right back to the Garden of Eden with the first woman Eve and explores three God-given desires and needs of a woman’s heart. The first time I read this book, it was like a gentle healing balm to my spirit. I truly began to understand myself as a woman and how much womanhood is a reflection of God’s own character. This book has nothing to do with the roles that women expected to play, but rather talks about what is hidden deeply within a woman’s heart. Not only do I encourage my female followers to read this book, I encourage the male ones, too. It will give a you glimpse into a woman’s heart and help you in your relationships.

I have yet to read it, but John Eldredge also has written a book for men called Wild at Heart. Let me know if you’ve read it and your thoughts in the comments below.

Yes or No

“The Guide to Better Decisions”
by Dr. Spencer Johnson

Written in story format, this book tells of a young man on a weekend hike ascending a mountain in the company of a guide and several experienced executives. While on the journey, he discovers three practical and three private questions to ask himself when making decisions. He also hears stories from his companions about professional and personal failures as well as triumphs and successes. Through hearing these stories, he realizes the importance of making good decisions. My version of the book also includes “The Map to Better Decisions” in a punch-out credit card-size format to carry with you. I encourage you to get a copy of this amazing book today!


“When to Say Yes How to Say No To Take Control of Your Life”
by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend

The inside cover flap of this book says, “Having clear boundaries is essential to a healthy, balanced lifestyle…boundaries define who we are and who we are not.”

I’ve also had a giving personality and a desire to help others. That has been a great asset in many of my relationships, but it has also been a great liability. Too often, I have tried to “rescue” people from themselves. After reading this book, I finally realized that each person is ultimately responsible for their own behaviour and the consequences that follow. While I still strive to not be selfish, reading this book has helped me to see that God does not expect me to be continually hurt by others who are selfish and unwilling to help themselves. God loves me too much. Cloud and Townsend also point out that God has boundaries, and He sets an amazing example for us to follow. They discuss setting boundaries with parents, spouses, children, friends, coworkers, and even ourselves.

While I have found these books very inspiring, I would encourage you not read these in place of God’s Word but as amazing supplemental resources. I hope you enjoyed these reviews. Be sure to share your favourite non-fiction books in the comments.

Happy reading!


5 Tips to Beat Anxiety

In this week’s post, I am changing directions a little. As someone who has suffered with intense anxiety throughout most of my life, I decided to share how I have learned to deal with it. Anxiety to some degree is entirely normal. Most of us feel anxiety before tests, certain events, or during major life changes. These tips that I am sharing will certainly help during those times. However, I am sharing these tips for those of us who feel anxiety even over the everyday routines of life.

If you find your anxiety interfering with your ability to function please make an appointment to see your doctor. I also encourage you to find a qualified counsellor/therapist who can provide a listening ear as well as generate a specific plan of action for you. I have found both of these disciplines to be extremely helpful in this area of my life.

I also have developed some of my own coping mechanisms, and I felt like maybe these would be helpful to someone else. So here are my tips:

1. Take 5. If you are feeling overwhelmed in your present environment, leave the room and take a few minutes. At work or in social settings, I have at times excused myself to the bathroom where I decompress and take deep breaths. You’ll be amazed at how well this actually works!

2. Get the right amount of sleep. This can be difficult for people who tend to have insomnia during times of high anxiety. It can be tough to shut your mind down long enough to sleep. I occasionally struggle with this. One way I deal with that is to reflect on the things that make me happy. Of course, my thoughts will stray, but I usually can bring myself back to focus. If it takes a long time for me to go to sleep or I wake up in the night and am unable to go back to sleep, I find changing environments helpful. That means moving to the couch or a spare bed. What I most often struggle with, however, is sleeping too much when I am feeling anxious. While it is helpful to get rest, sleeping too much can actually lead from anxiety into depression. In order to combat this, I try to make a plan for each day of things I want to accomplish. That way when I get up in the morning, instead of going back to bed, I focus on my goals. I will sometimes take naps in the afternoon, but I will set my alarm for 30 minutes in order to not take too long of a nap. When the alarm goes off, I get up and have something to eat. This helps give me energy and return to working on my to-do list. I will admit that I still don’t have this process down pat, but I am continuing to work on it!

3. Get outside. Fresh air and exercise are both great medicines in dealing with anxiety even if it is just a short walk. I also find that sitting outside while reading or journaling effective. Even more so, working in the dirt is especially beneficial. Studies have proven that a bacterium called Mycobacterium vaccae in soil increases the brain chemical of serotonin and acts like an antidepressant. (https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/66840.php)

4. Have a down time. In our fast-paced society, having a time to relax and do something enjoyable is essential. Finding this time can be difficult for some people especially those with kids, but it needs to be a priority since it is needed to lower stress and thus lower your stress hormone – cortisol. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/stress/art-20046037 Setting aside time each day to read, journal, craft, cook, or do what is enjoyable to you helps keep your anxiety intact and your cortisol balanced. Sit down right now and make a plan of how you will accomplish this.

5. Recite Scripture. I have found my relationship with God most helpful in dealing with my anxiety. There is a lot of great promises and encouraging scriptures found in God’s Word. If you memorize a few of these, they will come back to your memory just when you need them. One of my favourite verses is “The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear (reverence) him, and he delivers them.” Psalm 34:7

I hope this tips have been helpful to you. Be sure to sure your tips in the comments below.

Happy Fall!