Can I Hygge it? (Yes you can)

Ok guys, it’s close. I mean, it’s actually nearly here. Even when you live in Bella Italia, winter can drag on and leave you counting down the days ‘til when you can feel the warmth of the glorious sun on your skin. Ok, well, spring might not be that hot, but at least it’s one step closer to the summer. And now that we are in the month of March, the hope of spring seems that little bit closer. But, let’s not wish our lives away I hear you say. And I agree. ‘Cos those nearly spring nights are so darn cold and there’s still time to enjoy wrapping yourself up in a cosy blanket and reading a good book (or at least having the intention of reading a good book, even if you never actually got round to it because you haven’t turned off autoplay on Netflix and accidentally finished a season in one evening, but you know what I’m getting at). Even though the sun and clear blue skies like to tantalize us with a sneak peek of what’s to come, we gotta keep it real guys. And we gotta be honest. As soon as we walk in the shady part of the street we feel that shudder and chill of the truth. It’s only March.

So I say, embrace the hygge. Say what now? You heard me. Embrace the hygge. No, really, I’ve got no idea what you’re talking about. Can you Hygge it? What? (Yes you can). Oh you’re not talking about that Danish buzzword from last year, are you? Actually, yes. I am.

So what the hygge is it all about anyway? Well, just in case you didn’t get round to reading last years must-read book ‘The Little Book of Hygge’ (for Netflix reasons mentioned above), it’s the Danish word for ‘homeliness’, ‘koselig’, ‘gezelligheid’ and many more words many languages have attempted to describe, but apparently the Danish just do it better.

It’s more than a word, it’s an art form. The art of creating the perfect amount of cosy-ness; the joy of staying in with friends on a cold night rather than going out; it’s the feeling you get when you snuggle up next to an open fire, the warmth of eating a home-baked cake freshly out the oven, the comfortable snug-ness you feel in your favourite pair of thick winter socks that make your day that much more bearable. It’s the dim lighting in your favourite bar and the imperfect sound of an old favourite playing on the record player. It’s quite simply. The hygge.

*At this point I should probably confess that this beautiful word is not pronounced ‘hig’ as I like to imagine it, but ‘hooga’ (which ruins the whole ‘A Tribe Called Quest’ reference to the song ‘Can I kick It?’). Dunnit? But I digress.

While March is exciting because it’s one step closer to spring, we know that deep down we do embrace nature, we do accept mother nature’s ways (even if we really would like to totally unwind on some gorgeous beach soaking up the heavenly rays of sun) and with a little help of hygge we can manage to plough on, enjoying each moment until the sun does eventually come out and stay out.

So, can we Hygge it? Yes we can.

The Perks of Having a Gym Buddy

Here’s the thing. In January we set ourselves the ridonculous challenge of ‘Dry January’ (ya, I live in Italy, it lasted until Friday evening), depriving ourselves of that little treat that could have actually made us feel better during the most depressing month of the year. On top of that, we told ourselves that it was the perfect time to join a gym and start working out. But after paying a bucket-load we haven’t quite got round to it yet? I know, so annoying, right?

So here’s what I suggest. Grab a mate, a colleague, a lover, whoever really. Just someone who actually wants to get a little bit healthy after the binge session we know as ‘the holidays’ and head to the gym. You know, like take a step outside and just head in the direction of the gym (and try not to get distracted by cool looking bars or new pop up shops on the way). Focus now, you can do this. Now, if you have already done this, but have still failed to actually work out at the gym, pay attention to the next few steps, we’re gonna make this seemingly impossible task seem easy. So, first you simply need to set out a workout plan; figure out which areas you want to work on and strengthen, and start putting a few gym sessions in the diary. But actually put it in the diary, not just talk about it. You can definitely do this. You’ve got this.

If you’re prone to making excuses, how about trying to shift your focus. Instead of thinking – Oh God! Today I’ve got to wake up early, commute, then work, and then go to the gym, then come home and cook and then eat and then, and then and then- how about thinking – What day is it today? Monday. Ok, gym tonight – we know we’ve got to go to work anyway, we know commuting and cooking dinner is also a part of our day, shifting our focus to one thing – gym tonight- makes it seem like a bitesize-able chunk we’re able to digest. Playing little tricks on ourselves can help overcome that obstacle we create.

Next – the fun part. Get your gym buddy to take a few pics of you whilst working on those weights. Come on, who doesn’t want to look good in a work out photo complete with cute gym outfit and lotsa sweat? An Instagram boomerang is always a fav. Have some fun with it. Keep it light-hearted. Why not track your progress? I don’t mean sharing how many steps you’ve done on your Fitbit on Facebook, ‘cos no one actually cares (ouch – sorry), but add it to your Instagram. Or, create a new Instagram page with you and your gym buddy following your progress. Hey, you might even inspire others. Sounds pretty cool huh?

So you see the options are endless. And, from personal experience, there is definitely a lot of fun to be had. I never thought I’d be one who’d end up liking the gym as I’ve always preferred martial arts, but if you don’t give it a try you’ll never know.

So hurry up because there’s only one week left of this fantastic month I decided to call Feel-good February. Why Feel-good February when’s it’s just as depressing as the January Blues I hear you say. Well, I don’t know really. Guess I was just using one of those little tricks to shift my focus onto the positive things like – the most depressing month of the year is over, so surely this one must be better!

It kinda worked. Ok, no judging. Staying motivated is always harder when it’s cold. But more about that in my next blog. In the meantime, you’ve got one more week to hit the gym before March comes! Like I said, you’ve got this.

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