The tendency to seek wellbeing, serenity and warmth inside the home, is rooted in Nordic culture.
Mainly for climatic reasons. In long winters, people find their warm and comfortable den at home, the place to meet with family and to receive friends.
On the contrary, Mediterranean culture pushes people to go out to meet in the courtyard, in the square, to enjoy the sun and the outdoors activities. The centre of our social life is outside, in the parks, on the lake, on the beach or on the terrace of a bar.
I cannot imagine how they are experiencing this moment of restrictions to combat the spread of Covid19, I only know that it is hard for us keep staying at home.
We live this obligation as a house arrest, we feel stuck, forced to give up our primary need to go out and move.
How can we overcome this sense of suffocation and frustration?
Can any useful suggestions come from the north?
The first thought goes to the Danes with their hygge tradition of which lately we often hear about. I read Meik Wiking's book, Hygge. The Danish way to happiness, which lists the elements that contribute to creating an atmosphere of well-being in the family environment. Honestly, I found many clichés and somewhat taken for granted images in this book, from the crackling fire in the fireplace, to the soft cover that reminded me of the image of Linus with his thumb in his mouth. However, there is a common thread that connects all that, I liked a lot and is often overlooked in the furnishing project of a space: to create well-being, I have to involve all sensory perceptions.
The softness of a blanket is important, as much as the scent of candles. The background music and a cup of aromatic tea to sip can complete the picture.
In Norway, the term koselig is intended as a feeling of warmth, pleasure, simplicity, naturalness and intimacy. Looking for this feeling of well-being, the vegetable element is also inserted into the home.
In addition to the decorative function, plants are living beings to take care of, which grow and transform with the changing seasons. They warm the environment and lift the mood. Personally, I feel like a panacea to go to the balcony to see my orange blossom and savour the scent, to watch the new small leaves of the marjoram peek out and to look with trepidation if the rosebuds are opening.
Of course, these are small things that cannot radically change the fact that we are stuck at home, but they can help us, if we also help ourselves with a change of attitude.
I find perfect in this circumstance a sentence of the German writer Eckhart Tolle:
Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it. Make it your friend and ally, not your enemy. This will miraculously transform your whole life.