7 days of sunshine is what the weather report was as of yesterday. Guess they were wrong, again! I can’t imagine having to predict the weather on the Pacific Northwest Coast. It’s temperamental, stubborn and indecisive. It’s a grey rainy June morning and I’m feeling very Hygge even as the Summer Soltice nears.
If you’re not familiar with the term Hygge, it is a Scandinavian word that can’t really be translated. As the Danish put it; it needs to be felt. Hygge is a feeling of coziness, contentment, warmth, security. It’s sitting in front of a crackling fire on a cold rainy Autumn evening. Hygge is walking in nature on a warm spring day, the air swirling with the sweet scent of blooming flowers. It’s the warm fuzzy feeling you get when you walk the aisles of a quiet bookstore or sit down to a home cooked meal.
Hygge can be practiced all year. You don’t need a snowy cabin and hot cocoa to feel Hyggelig. These are some of the ways I keep it Hygge in the Summer.
Simple Clean Skincare
Summer is lighthearted, the energy is about freedom & simplicity. My least favourite part about the heat is what it does to my skin. My skin is naturally very oily and the crisp cool air of Autumn and Winter seem to keep it in check. When the sun comes out however, just like we all start to feel our tensions melts away, my pores relax too ; I’m pretty sure you can see my skin shining from space. For this reason I switch my skincare in the Summer to clean simple products: a gentle foaming face wash to break up oil, light weight serums that sink into skin quickly, the mineral spring water facial spray by Avene and Sunscreen with a light layer of summery makeup.
Having plants in the home changes the environment quickly. There’s a serenity about plants and the quiet ritual of lovingly caring for them and watering them. The kitties love when I water the plants. I put them onto the floor together, call the kitties and enjoy a blissful moment of play as they bat and try to drink the water falling from the watering can. Plants bring the outdoors in and clean the air. All of my plants are cat safe, I like to move them around the house when I clean. This week I have the Aloe on the dining table ready to use it’s healing gel for summer bug bites. The African Violet is sitting on my nightstand in full bloom all purples and green.
Today I’m burning a blend of 5 of my favourite oils in my diffuser: Fir, spruce, juniper, frankincense and cypress. Diffusing Essential oils in the home is a safe (flame free) way of bringing a ‘feeling’ to a space. The oils I’m using today smell like a walk in the temperate rainforests that surround my home here in British Columbia. Our Limbic System (the system that deals with emotions and memory) is connected to our sense of smell. This is why certain scents can conjure good (or bad) memories. I feel most peaceful in the forest so burning oils from evergreens takes me there even on a rainy day like today when I’ll be staying indoors.
This month the Farmer’s Markets will open around the city. I look forward to shopping for colourful carrots, white and purple cauliflower and bright green string beans. I could spend hours there just dreaming up all the goodies I’ll cook. My Summer cooking style revolves around fresh veggies, fruit and lighter dishes than the stews and carb-rich meals I make at Winter.
One thing I’ve really appreciated about the time I’ve had in quarantine has been picking up books I’ve been meaning to read for ages. I’ve read more books in the past 3 months than I have in the past year. During the Summer our home gets very warm because we face North/West which means that we have the sun all afternoon until sunset. I like that time after sunset when the air cools. I sit in bed with the window open enjoying the night air. I play a soundtrack in the background of crickets. It feels like I’m in the country while I read in bed before drifting off to dream land.
Even though Fall Fashion will always be my favourite, there does come a time around February each year when putting on my coat, scarf, gloves and hat for the 100th time starts getting exhausting. Summer dresses (well dresses in general) make up the majority of my closet. I’m not blessed with the talent of putting together amazing outfits so wearing a dress is one step and you’re ready to go! I recently purchased a few pieces during the massive sales a lot of the retailers had online (because their brick and mortar shops were closed). A white dress is the perfect way to feel Hygge in Summer. It’s cool and light weight. Makes me want to throw it on and walk barefoot in dewy summer morning grass.
I am a fragrance girl. I’m loving the mini roll-on versions the designer brands are putting out on Sephora. This allows me to wear my favourite scent for a season and move on. Mon Paris by YSL is this years perfume for Summer. Strawberry, Raspberry, Bergamot, Pear, Orange Flower, Jasmin, White Peony and Crystal Moss are some of the notes in this sweet fragrance. Summer for me is about the floral and citrus notes. Once Autumn and Winter come, I move toward the Gourmand, Wood and Spicy blends.
Walking in nature is a wonderful way to bring Hygge vibes into your life. Forest bathing has been practiced in Japan for centuries and involves taking in the atmosphere of the trees and plants and connecting with nature through our senses. Even if you live in the middle of a busy city, you can still enjoy the feeling by visiting a local park or botanical garden. Last year for my birthday my husband and I spent the afternoon at UBC Gardens. We sat on a bench under the shade of a gary oak tree. It was quiet except for the robins greeting us with their song.
If you’d like to share ideas on how to Hygge in the Summer I’d love to hear from you.
Until next time.