The Art of Wellbeing
Back to Reality
Just like that, the activity and excitement of the holidays has passed and the New Year is here. As we think about how best to start fresh—making plans to achieve our goals (and sticking to them), avoiding all those old habits—we also need to contend with our desire to stay inside and hide from winter’s cold, short days and long nights.
Now that we’re getting back into the daily routine, we’d be forgiven for longing for those not-too-distant lazy holiday mornings and celebrations with family and friends. It’s easy to miss the holiday glow when we think we have to return to reality and everyday concerns.
But still, we can always change our routine and make our days just a little more special—that’s what the New Year is about. As we look forward to a productive New Year, we’re hoping to strike a balance between work and relaxation. Setting goals and challenging yourself is great for making your day-by-day more meaningful and giving you a sense of purpose, but finding time to just “be” is just as important for a happy, balanced life.
It’s easy to overlook those quiet, calmer moments, but stressing and fretting for every moment of the day won’t help that to-do list get smaller. Finding an escape—even if it is just for an hour—can help us rest and refocus to complete the tasks at hand without missing a step.
Resting Up and Refocusing
This year, we’re looking to adjust how we think about those quieter, more mundane moments and refresh how we approach our routine. To help us achieve our balanced life, we’re looking to the Danish notion of “hygge” (pronounced hoo-ga)—of finding happiness and warmth in one’s surroundings.
Hygge is the simple act of slowing down—lighting some candles, turning off the screens—and enjoying the comfort and calm of your home with your close friends and family. Hygge is best practiced with a warm drink in hand and a warm blanket surrounding you; in Denmark, people practice hygge especially in the winter months, where it remains dark for a large portion of the day.
Many of us may already practice hygge, or at least our own version of it. Knowing that there is a word for it, and that we share this ritual of happiness, mindfulness and calm with many others is a powerful reminder of how important this ritual is. Being mindful of our relaxation rituals can help us to greater appreciate that time we set aside.
Slow Down to Appreciate
We love hygge because it goes hand-in-hand with our outlook as we work to curate our collection of carefully crafted, meaningful goods. Slowing down and warming up with a mug shaped and smoothed by hand by the talented women of Annie Hanks Ceramics or cozying up in a luscious wool throw woven row-by-row by Melissa Hankens helps us remember the special quality of these fine pieces that help us relax and feel at home.
We know the people who made our treasured home wares—their stories resonate with us, especially when we pause to consider how their craft has become a part of our everyday. Taking time to reflect on these connections and appreciate the fruits of our artisans’ labors helps us appreciate the beautiful things in our world and our lives, and the connections that we craft between others and ourselves.
We hope you find comfort in the New Year and that you set goals not only for work but also for your own enjoyment, for those simple, quiet moments. Finding time—from a few minutes to a few hours—to appreciate that moment will help you relax and recharge for the tasks ahead.
Recipe: Maple Latte
To help you have that true hygge moment while the year is still young, we’ve included this delicious recipe for a Maple Latte using our own Rival Brothers Coffee and Tonewood Maple Syrup and best enjoyed in your favorite handcrafted mug.
1-2 oz of Whistle & Cuss Espresso
2 tablespoons of Tonewood Dark Robust Maple Syrup
6 oz steamed milk
- Pour the maple syrup into the bottom of the mug.
- Pour the espresso (or strongly brewed coffee) right over the maple syrup in the mug. Mix.
- Steam milk (if you don’t have a milk steamer, carefully warm milk on the stove until it starts to steam and then whisk to froth) and pour over the hot espresso and maple syrup.
- Stir and enjoy!