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Hygge: What it is and how you can do it at work


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Reposted with permission from Rachael Hite. 

Hygge (or Hoo-gah) is definitely having a moment right now in popular culture. What is it? In a nutshell, it’s the Danish cultural practice of savoring life and taking good care of one’s self to prevent depression and ease the stress of their long dark winter nights.

Hygge is not just for cold weather; the idea is practiced year round with an emphasis on coziness, gathering with friends and spending time outdoors.

Humans were never meant to be boxed up and work endless hours chained to a screen.

The consequences of not taking care of ourselves are present all around us. Healthcare is an ever-difficult issue in our country largely because of the lifestyle that much of our culture has adapted.

Working long hours, eating poor-quality convenient food and not exercising will lead to a malady of prescriptions and health issues, but most of all a lesser quality of life. Reaching for a little hygge in your personal and work life is healthy for mind, body and soul.

How can one hygge at work?

Step 1: Evaluate your work area

Is it comfortable? What kind of chair are you using? Do you often get hot or cold?

Making your environment cozier is the lynchpin of hygge. Make adjustments of your screens and bring in a throw for your lap or a mini fan or air purifier for your space to keep stale air at bay.

Step 2: Nourish your body

Make yourself a coffee or tea bar stash; as long as you have access to a microwave, you can make a great cuppa.

Pack yourself a healthy lunch, and utilize meal planning tutorials to save time. We like to keep fresh lemon on hand to slice up for our water as well.

It encourages you to drink more water and supplies a healthy dose of Vitamin C. Make sure to take screen breaks and enjoy your cuppa to give your eyes a rest from the strain.

Step 3:  Take frequent breaks

Get up and walk around, step outside if you can. Stand up, and stretch. A body in motion stays in motion.

Step 4: Bring treats for yourself

A few pieces of dark chocolate. A great hand lotion with essential oils. Some tasty organic beef jerky, a plant to enjoy on your desk.

Hygge is about little indulgences and savoring simple pleasures. Are there any simple pleasures in your day for you to enjoy?

Step 5: Manage your time, and plan

How important is your downtime? Does work creep into it often because you are ill-prepared or because you have not set appropriate boundaries?

Plan, and protect your downtime. Use planning tools (calendars, digital apps, pencil and paper), and let your clients know your office hours. Go to bed at a decent time.

Hustle is necessary, but you have to make sure you are not running your body into the ground. Remember you only get one!

Add some hygge into your work day, and we hope you see productivity improvements and a little less stress in your waking life.

Do you hygge? Share your tips below!

By day, Rachael Hite helps agents develop their business. By night, she’s tweeting and blogging for

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