Angie Miller's picture

Hygge -Warm Your World From the Inside Out

I try, I really try, but I don’t love winter. Never have. The short days and grey skies make me feel so blah.  The frigid cold makes my body tight and achy.  I stay indoors more and see my friends and family less. Yes, I load up on vitamin D and sit in front of a sun lamp, but it’s just not enough to cut through the S.A.D. i endure every year.

Then last winter, a dear friend who has listened to me whine and lament year after year- and happens to be one of those crazy people who actually gets excited about the coming of winter- was convinced I could learn to embrace it too if I prepared properly and got into the right mindset.  She gave me this wonderful little book called How to Hygge, The Nordic Secrets to a Happy Life.  I think there may be hope..

The Nordic countries have long been recognized as some of the the happiest people in the world.  It’s hard to understand how this could be, considering they have to bear longer, darker, colder winters than we do.  Sounds like a nightmare to me.  But necessity is the mother of invention, and in order to survive and thrive in such an extreme climate, they cultivated the custom of Hygge (hoo-guh) which means, basically, the art of getting cozy. 

Rather than allowing winter to be something dreadful, that is out of our control and simply happens to us, Hygge would suggest that we fully embrace the season- whatever season- with special preparations and traditions.  Following are a few of the ones I found most helpful for winter:

-Create a warm and cozy ambiance in your home for the season.  Bring out the furry throw blankets, and the candles and twinkly lights to brighten up the long nights!  We’re burning gingerbread and pumpkin spice candles throughout the house, so not only does it look warm and inviting, it smells amazing when I walk in the door.  If you don’t have a wood burning fireplace, piñon incense will give your home that campfire smell.

-Indulge a little.  Focus first on simple, natural foods to nourish your body. Cook up a delicious pot of soup or chili.  Then spend some time baking something a little decadent.  It’ll warm up the house and make it smell so inviting...  and then share!

-Get together! It’s so easy to isolate once the weather gets rough, but we need to stay connected to the ones we love.  Have a dinner party, potluck style or invite people over for a board game night.  Rotate houses throughout the season.. Conviviality makes the heart happy.

-Cozy up your wardrobe.  Bring out the wooly socks and sweaters, the puffy coats, hats and scarves.... Make sure your wardrobe has everything you need to stay warm even on the most frigid days.  I know that this seems like common sense, but I took a good look at how I dress myself last winter and realized that i was often a layer or item short and I would end up cold and miserable if I were out for longer than 30 mins.  Pile on the layers and fend off the chill.

-Now that you're dressed warm, get outside!  Take a walk in a park or go ice skating.  Being out in nature has a slew of positive benefits on our bodies and our psyches.  It’s so important to move and stay active, to take in some fresh air and unfiltered sunlight, even during the coldest months.  It may not be lush and green, but the winter landscape has its own special, quiet beauty. My son and I like to identify the animal tracks we find in the snow and name the winter birds we see along our walks in Frick Park.

So go get your Hygge on this year.  Open your heart to the season and warm your world from the inside out.

 

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Alexander's picture

We are Capable of Exraordinary Talents

"Our prime purpose in this life is to help others" -Dalai Lama

   We are infinite beings capable of extraordinary talents. Each individual has something unique and beautiful to share with this world. Where ever our truest and most positive talents lay I feel it is our obligation to express them fully once discovered.

   I always had a passion for healing. It's been a family trade starting with my father who inspired two of my sisters and I to become therapists. The thought of helping people on a daily basis created enough motivation for me to enroll into a massage program in Orlando, Florida. After a few short months into the program I started hearing remarkable feedback. People are saying they have been relieved of their headaches and some can now reach for that dish in the upper cabinet that they could not grab before. I was even hearing in many cases people were no longer feeling that shooting pain from their upper back leg to the bottom of their toes. Halfway through the program I knew I found my unique talent. This is what I wanted to share with the world.

   After 5 years of professional experience I have been licensed in Florida, Colorado, California and now Pennsylvania. It has been a blessing to travel the country and be mentored by highly educated individuals in their preferred modalities. It's a rewarding feeling to me understanding multiple techniques which may help relieve specific muscle pain. I remember to not take pride or consider my self a "miracle worker" by any means. I am merely a practitioner who has studied the science and anatomy behind massage who aids the client to help heal themselves.

   My most unforgettable experiences with massage have been the stories where clients no longer feel the need for drastic surgeries after our sessions. A lot of the time our limited range of motion is due to tightness in specific areas in the body that just need to be released. That knee that has been bothering you for years.. perhaps a misalignment in the body elsewhere is causing the pain which can be worked out through proper massage techniques rather then a trip to the surgery room. In one case a client had left the massage room and forgot to take her cane with her in which she had relied on to walk prior to the session. These stories bring so much joy to me and fill me with unlimited happiness.

   The work flows through me fluently every day and the satisfaction it brings to myself and others is my reminder that I am utilizing my unique talent helping others. My main focus is to continue studying new ways to help recover and aid every person I touch into a more enlightened body via massage therapy.

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