Last year I was watching a show talk about this new trending word ” hygge.” Some pronounce it hoo-ga well others say it’s hue-guh. Either way you say it, it’s the Danish word for all things cozy! Curious about it I decided to do some research and learned that it’s a whole culture surrounding relaxation rooted in nostalgia, indulgence and comfort. It’s something that’s meant to be felt and have that at home touch often, involving family and friends. Recently with the changing of weather I thought to myself there’s no better time to prepare a hygge atmosphere then now. I love fall scents they remind me of home (spices, pumpkin) so they were the first thing I wanted to incorporate into creating a hygge atmosphere. I’m into healthier natural smelling scents so I decided to make a simmer pot. This was my first time trying this and it turned out better than I could have imagined. I just thought of smells I like that would pair well together and came up with this.
Cranberry Orange Spice Simmer Pot
1/3 of a cup of whole cloves ( I really like cloves)
cinnamon sticks (2-3)
cranberries 3/4 cup
a couple of sprigs of rosemary
4 quart pot
Prepare oranges. Peel and safe skins. Take 1 and a half oranges and cut each wedge into 3rds. Reserve 1/2 an orange for squeezing juice. Throw everything into a 4 quart pot.Squeeze remaining 1/2 orange over it all and add water at least half way or more. Then turn pot on low and stir. Let it simmer all day or for a couple of hours occasionally stirring and the essence it creates is simply delightful. If the water evaporates just add more. Also, I found that these specific ingredients if refrigerated after cooling last for days. After I made this batch I went away for a couple of days and when I can back I popped it back on the stove with more water and it was as good as new.
I’m also using Wax and Wool candles this fall season. These soy candles are made by a local merchant in small hand poured batches. Right now their featured scents for the fall are cinnamon chai, pumpkin spice and brown sugar & fig. These candles come in really cool amber and mason apothecary jars. I highly suggest checking them out!
This week for me is just the start of getting back into the groove of things you know work, life etc.. The holidays were nice but, I needed a short break from the holidays before jumping back into it all. There are a lot of changes happening for me which is exciting because I love change especially when its positive! A newer job, a promising medical treatment, fresh vision and motivation. This year I’ve also decided to go completely gluten-free which started this week. Wish me luck and look for gluten-free recipes on the blog in the future. Another thing I’m trying to focus on is simply drinking more water! I’ve never truly been a fan. I know it’s horrible. Did you know a person is supposed to drink at least six to eight 8-ounce glasses of water or other fluid a day? I’m also challenging myself to physically move more in whatever way I can. I went from a very physical job that kept me on my feet all day to a sedentary desk job. Knowing that cardiovascular diseases are the number one cause of deaths globally motivates me to move all that much more especially since its something that is highly preventable. I’m encouraging myself and you to strive for a lifestyle centered around a healthy diet, moderate physical activity and to make decisions that ultimately lead to wellness. After realizing that my focus for this month was mostly on self-care I’d decided to adopt the mantra “take care.” I think its fitting to strive for wellness right at the start of a new year in hopes that a good habits will be formed and play out the rest of the year. Taking care of myself will make it that much easier for me to achieve my goals for this year and I hope you’ll join me by making it a priority to take care of yourself.
Sometimes as adults we simply lose sight of things. The demands of life fueled by work, finances, family and ambition take over leaving little if any room for rest, relaxation or rejuvenation. This cycle of burning the candle at both ends has to stop or it inevitably for most people will lead to unhappiness, health problems, addictions and burn out. How do we combat this hustle and bustle lifestyle? I truly believe you can remedy this by taking time for yourself in order to feed your inner self/spirit. This can be done in multiple ways and you ultimately have to find out what works best for you.
Here are some of my go to ways to relax and recharge. I like just being alone and listening to music. If I’m in a more energetic mood a spontaneous dance party always nourishes my spirit. Also, reading something that’s positive, inspirational and gives me a different perspective always helps. Incidentally enough, if you’re having a hard time relaxing I find that resorting to childlike activities might actually help. Sometimes I grab a coloring book or engage in a game with kids where my imagination can go wild. I also, make it a priority to make time for hobbies (baking, gardening etc.) that I enjoy.
The whole point of taking time to carrying out these activities is to feed your spirit by embracing rest and relaxation in order to reset your mind, body and spirit towards a healthy perspective. Furthermore, keep in mind that you can’t do everything and pay specific attention to your motivations behind why you do certain things. I suggest honestly taking a look at your lifestyle and maybe altogether eliminating some things and just reprioritizing. In the end, I know if you apply these tips to your life you’ll be on the road to a happier and healthier version of yourself.
I highly recommend this weekly journal by Moorea Seal or coloring books by Leisure Arts!