Last New Year many of use chose a few ‘words of the year’ to help keep us focused on our values and goals as host parents (and people!).
Micro-affirmations like “3 Words“, Core Desired Feelings , and even just a parenting mantra help us make small changes in our habits that, over time, can help us grow. They offer slight yet meaningful direction that’s useful in any situation.
As I was reading the onslaught of New Year’s Resolution-related posts I came across the word that I’ll be using to help shape both my teaching and my home & family-making:
Hygge is a Danish term for the art of creating intimacy: a sense of comradeship, conviviality and contentment all rolled into one concept.
~ Helen Dyrbye in “Xenophobe’s Guide to the Danes.”
“In other languages the word for hygge or coziness is more a physical thing, and hygge is more a mental thing,” explains Lotte Hansen, a library science student from Aalborg, Denmark …
“It’s like a feeling, and it’s big at Christmastime. The candles, the food, being with your family.” “It’s not only Christmas, though,” she adds, noting hygge is a pervasive, year-round spirit. “It’s like a mood you have. We can see hygge in many things, in many situations.”
This flexibility of hygge is a major reason why English words like “cozy” don’t do it justice. “Coziness relates to physical surroundings — a jersey can be cozy, or a warm bed — whereas hygge has more to do with people’s behavior toward each other…”
Hygge for you, Hygge for me
What I like about the concept of Hygge (and related extensions of the word) is that it captures what I’d like my home to feel like to my family and to our friends. Even with my undergraduate business students, I’d like my classroom to evoke the kind of warmth and sense of community that would support students in taking more risks with their teams and their projects.
It’s also a concept that, when we aim to create it, we help both others and ourselves. A nice bonus for a new years re-orientation, no?
What are you doing to shape your new year?
Any particular words or goals? We’d love to know…