Pronounced hoo-guh, you gotta try this if you're going to survive winter with a smile.

You ever get tired of just 'surviving' things? Winter is a big one I have to force myself to get through. I'd much rather check out and go somewhere warm, become a younger version of a 'snowbird' and hibernate on a beach. At least, that is what I told a nice, older gentleman at the gas pump last week when I was spilling alligator tears in the cold winds. It wasn't nearly as cold as this week, so I had to think of a new way to approach winter, knowing there's no way I'd survive it otherwise.

How do other countries, in much colder climates, manage to stay happy, awake and survive their harsh winters? Places like Denmark don't see sunrise until nearly 9 a.m. and it sets by 3 or 4 p.m. and their winters last two months longer than ours. But HOW on holy earth can they? It's nearly unimaginable to me.

In Denmark, they have something called Hygee. It sounds like hookah (pronounced hoo-guh) and is an entirely different mindset approach to winter. Hygee is all about embracing the winter, by acknowledging your need for warmth, down time and a cozy atmosphere. Instead of gritting their way through it with clenched, shivering teeth, they make it a restorative time.

Rodale' describes it this way,

"If you were to try to translate it, hygge would be more of a feeling than a word. It’s sort of a full-on embrace of all things toasty, cozy, and restorative. Like that warm wave that washes over you when you ease into a hot bubble bath. Or that feeling that everything is right in the world when you hang out with your favorite people by the fireplace with mugs of hot cider (or bourbon). Or the simple joy of petting a sleepy kitten while it purrs. It’s all hygge."

Slowing down, finding things that warm your heart, making it a priority to connect with people face to face in front of a fireplace or enjoying a meal together, are just a few ways to practice hygee, from some of the happiest people, in one of the happiest countries, on earth.

Now this is something I can get into this winter. How about you?