I guess you guys have heard of the Danish concept of hygge? Well, Wikipedia describes it as “a mood of cosiness and comfortable conviviality with feelings of wellness and contentment”. I’m obsessed with hygge and all its forms, and I think the most accurate English translation is ‘cosy’.
If, like me, you have anxiety, and regularly want to hide in the toilet even if you’re already sat on the toilet, then what helps me might help you. When I’m feeling crap, I find what helps most is setting my mind on achieving maximum ‘cosy’. This takes different forms depending on where I am. For example, if I’m already at home on my sofa, then not much effort is needed. However, if I ever find myself being yelled at by Gordon Ramsay while running, it might take a bit more effort.
Disclaimer: that hasn’t happened to me. As if I’d ever go running.
The problem with this is that when I get really anxious, I can’t remember a single thing on my mental ‘cosy list’. My mind is so full of ‘oh Jesus this is the worst thing in the world, I’m going to actually die if that bus driver says I don’t have the right change’, that everything else goes out of the window.
Therefore, I’ve decided to write my definitive ‘cosy list’: a list of stuff that, no matter what, will make me feel at least a tiny bit more relaxed and secure. A lot of it is stuff that takes me back to my childhood, or to a particular time when I felt happy and at ease.
I hope this will inspire you guys to write your own cosy lists. It doesn’t matter where – an old scrap of paper, a wall, a family member’s arm – as long as you get it written down. Every time you find something that makes you feel lovely, add it to the list. Hopefully, you’ll end up with something to refer to when you’re hyperventilating your own ribs out of your arse.
For maximum cosiness, write your list in a nice notebook, with a nice pen, and maybe add some photos. Hard mode: write your list on Den of Geek for people to mock.
To give you some ideas, then, here is my (work in progress) cozy list:
1. Sitting on the loo (without my phone), reading the backs of random bottles and packets.
2. Cooking a joint of meat in the oven while it’s raining outside.
3. The smell of Fenjal bath oil, Olbas oil, or Original Source tea tree and mint shower gel.
4. Cooking potatoes in the ashes of a bonfire. In fact, just being round a bonfire full stop.
5. A pot of tea and chocolate digestives (3 packets). You might want to add more packets of digestives.
6. Reading my old, battered copy of The Adventures Of Milly-Molly-Mandy.
7. Getting into the car out of the rain, and watching the downpour through the windscreen.
8. A Friends marathon, while drinking coffee and eating muffins.
9. Getting up early on a cold, foggy morning.
10. Taking care of the plants on my balcony.
11. Retreating to the sofa with all the pillows, duvets and blankets I own.
Spend some time thinking about what makes you feel cosy, and write it down to refer to the next time you need a mental hug.