creativity

Embracing the Danish Way to Live Well – Through Hygge

Embracing the Danish Way to Live Well – Through Hygge

“Hygge is about the now, and how to enjoy it and make the best of it.” Meike Wiking, The Little Book of Hygge

Have you heard about hygge? (pronounced ‘hoogah’)

Perhaps you’ve already savoured the sweet little read by Meike Wiking about this soul-satisfying characteristic of Danish living. Or perhaps you’re a little late to the library – the book was published in 2016 – but sometimes, the book comes to you. At the right time.

Like now.

The art of cozy

What do atmosphere, togetherness, comfort food, hot drinks, wine, woolen socks, blankets, fireplaces and soft lighting have in common?

They can all be components of the experience of hygge – which is a feeling of intimacy, coziness, and pleasure. Hygge has been described as ‘cocoa by candlelight.’ Don’t you love that?! Hygge moments aren’t fancy or expensive, but rather, humble and slow. Hygge can be nestling on the sofa in your pyjamas, watching movies with a loved on a snowy afternoon. It can be playing board games with the aroma of Sunday dinner wafting in through the kitchen door. It’s a glass of wine by a crackling fire, or a cuddle with your dog while reading a favourite book.

Driftwood All In One Stain and Finishing Oil Fusion Mineral Paint

The most important ingredient to happiness

Wiking, who is a bona fide happiness researcher, states that “there is broad agreement among happiness researchers and scientists that social relations are essential for people’s happiness.”

And when togetherness is part of hygge, there’s never any competition. There’s no room for braggarts or one-uppers. Hygge gives space for gentle conversation, good laughs, and liking one another just as we are. There’s no need to impress. Forget the up-do and make-up – it’s big sweaters and leggings and chunky socks.

The physiology of hygge

And there’s science here, too! Our amazing bodies release the neurohormone oxytocin when we are in soothing hygge moments. Oxytocin makes us happy and reduces stress, fear and pain. 

DIY-ing to make your home more hygellig

The hygge wish-list includes creating a hyggekrog in your home – a comfy space, or nook, where you can sit and relax after a long day. Think about the things you can create to make this space special – inviting pillows, gorgeous candle pillars, and a rustic tray to hold a steaming tea pot and mugs. How about a blanket ladder in the corner to hold your favourite throws? Did you know that things made out of wood are on the hygge wish-list? Paint a few wood signs with peaceful words to soothe your soul.

The simple act of DIY-ing is considered a hyggelig activity! Come join us for a DIY workshop where you can find hygge in a togetherness experience and create beautiful home décor for your cozy corner – your hyggekrog! Bring your friends!

let's get cozy DIY Workshop at Homeworks Etc

3 Benefits of Unleashing Your Creativity

“If you’re alive, you’re a creative person.” Elizabeth Gilbert

We are all creative souls. Really. You may think to yourself, “Oh no – I don’t have a speck of creativity in me!” But wait a second. You surely do have capacities, aspirations, longings, and well, secret talents. You may think you aren’t creative.

But you are.

And having a creative outlet may, in fact, be an essential ingredient to a happy and healthy life. According to clinical neuropsychologist Catherine Carey Levisay: “There’s promising evidence coming out to support what a lot of crafters have known anecdotally for quite some time, and that’s that creating—whether it be through art, music, cooking, quilting, sewing, drawing, photography, cake decorating—is beneficial to us in a number of important ways.”

Here’s what science has to say about having a creative outlet. Creativity:

1.       Improves mental health – when you engage in an enjoyable pastime, the reward centre in your brain releases dopamine, a natural anti-depressant. Here’s to improved mood and self-esteem!

2.       Boosts cognitive health – creative expression improves connectivity between the 2 hemispheres of your brain, which improves problem-solving, reasoning and the brain’s overall processing speed. That is, crafting, for example, can help slow down aging!

3.       Enhances physical health – getting creative lowers overall stress levels: your immune system is boosted, while blood pressure and the stress hormone called cortisol are lowered. Taking up a hobby can make your body feel better!

You can be creative on your own.  Or you can join a creative community – take a DIY workshop, for example – where you find kinship and support. And laughter. Lots of it!

So, if we can bring some balance to our mental and physical health by indulging our creativity, why not take advantage and welcome it into our lives? Grab a friend – or come solo – and join us at Homeworks Etc for a DIY workshop. Let your paint brush and creative flag fly!

Social Benefits of Creating with Friends

“The world is but a canvas to the imagination.” Henry David Thoreau There’s DIY at home…and then, there’s DIY in the company of others!

And while it’s wonderful to find time and space alone for crafting, designing, and inventing, there are enormous benefits to spending time in a group setting while digging our hands in a creative project.

Firstly, let’s acknowledge that spending time on creative projects is a type of play for adults. Play brings joy, and can facilitate deep connections with both friends and strangers. In creative play, we can find surprise, pleasure, understanding, and strength of mind, body and spirit.

Secondly, rolling up our sleeves and working on DIY projects in a roomful of friends – and friends of friends - are like BIG KID sessions. We showcase our personalities as we push our creative buttons, and we have an opportunity to expand our social circle with new comrades-in-creativity who share similar interests. These sessions can become therapeutic and life-affirming experiences, as we share and learn from one another.

While we concentrate on crafting, we exchange vital life skills, like empathy. We are in a safe space to share points of view and support one another. There is a kind of intimacy and emotional awareness, and a great connection to those in the room. In this relaxed environment, while elbow-deep in bringing imagination to life, we become more open, engaged, and expressive.

Everyone laughs a little more and becomes a little less lonely.

And who knows? We might solve some of the world’s problems! Or at the least, effect a bit of social change – fight for a cause, decide to raise money for a charity, or make a small improvement to the community. Anything is possible in a roomful of like-minded friends letting their creative juices flow!

Check here for details on YOUR next DIY workshop with friends – at Homeworks Etc.

 

Creativity for the Soul

“Creativity is contagious. Pass it on.” Albert Einstein Just because you can’t paint a portrait or pen a novel doesn’t mean you’re not creative. Au contraire! Creativity is what makes us HUMAN. It exists within every aspect of our lives, and is not just reserved for the artistic elite.

You can – and should – reclaim your creative passion in tangible ways. Making room for creativity in our adult lives, and activating our creative muscle, can be transformative. Creative activity offers:

  • An opportunity to get ‘lost’ and release control of your logical mind
  • An outlet for emotions
  • A release for stagnant energy
  • A deeper connection to the soul

The creative process is heart-driven, allowing for freedom of self-expression and providing a sense of accomplishment. And for the typical adult consumed by the everyday busy-ness of life, a time set aside for fun, joy, and play is like reconnecting to happier, care-free, long-lost childhood memories. Imagine immersing yourself in an activity that is about more than just passing the time – it’s a chance to be authentic. The more you create, the more familiar you become with your likes and dislikes, and the more you develop you own unique style and technique. How cool is that?

The benefits of carving out time for creativity are plentiful. That life ‘busy-ness’ cries out for balance. Creative activity is a marvelous stress release, relieving built-up tension, and bringing on improved emotional and mental health. Not to mention that imaginative and inventive play beneficially exercises both the right and left sides of the brain. Creative endeavours allow you to think and process things in new ways, building layers of resourcefulness, and ultimately leading to better decision-making skills.

Making time for pursuing creative passions is, well, like caring for your soul!

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”