Thursday, January 31, 2019

How to Hygge with Photos and Memories

Hygge is one of the best ways I've found to beat the winter blues!  I discovered it about a year ago, and although it is a tradition that's hundreds if not thousands of years old, it is increasing in popularity--and it's no surprise!  If you need a little more comfort and coziness in your life, you need hygge.

Hygge is pronounced "hue-guh."  It's a Danish (and Scandinavian) concept that embraces a general attitude of comfort and coziness.  It's a focus on warming your soul.  Imagine candles and crackling fires and hot cocoa and fuzzy slippers, and you've got the feeling of hygge.  Hygge also includes relaxing time with family and friends which fills both the home and heart with comfort and warmth.  You can read more about hygge at my article {Beating the Winter Blues with Hygge}, including how I use hygge to temper seasonal depression.  I love hygge! 

There are a lot of ways to hygge.  Reading a good book, baking, and creativity are hygge.  In fact, Christmas lights are hygge.  Last summer I read an excellent article from Hello Hygge, a blog dedicated to all things hygge, about how photos are hygge.  I had never thought of that specifically, but it's exactly what I always say!  Photos, in my opinion, are the essence of hygge--warm, cozy, comforting.  There's a lot to be said for letting something that made you happy once make you happy again.  In the article, {Capturing Everyday Hygge}, the author basically defended photos, saying that we often minimize pictures of food or selfies as trivial.  But her conclusion is the same as mine:  if it makes you smile now, why not capture it so you can look back on it and smile later, too?  Hygge is personal--it's what makes YOU feel comfortable and happy and peaceful.

Henry David Thoreau once said, "It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see."  So if pictures of sunsets or flowers do that for you, take them.  Your photos are valuable to you because of what you see there.

The whole magic of photos is that you can capture something that makes you feel good so you can look back at it and experience the power of reminiscing.  (For some fascinating perspective on reminiscing, read here about {reminiscence therapy} or here about the history of the word {nostalgia}--a word that was actually first coined as a medical term in the 1600s!)

I really don't know of anyone who couldn't benefit from a little more hygge.  It's a very relaxed, mindful, comfortable, low-stress, warm, connected approach to life.

So let's talk about how to hygge with photos and memories!  With a focus on warmth and coziness and comfort as you hygge, photos and memories are the perfect place to start.  I think photos/memories and hygge are the perfect combination for three reasons:
  1. Photos really do make you happy.  Studies show that {looking back on happy memories actually increases your happiness in the present}.  
  2. If you suffer from Photo Guilt (it's like Mom Guilt but more widely experienced) because you have lots of photos just sitting on your phone or computer, this is the perfect solution!  Hygge with photos and memories allows you all those cozy hygge feelings we've been talking about while at the same time you're actually checking something off your to-do list.  Both make you feel better!
  3. All the steps of preserving your memories and photos are hygge--quiet time set aside for self-care, looking through mementos of your life's experience (pictures), remembering, connecting, putting words to your experiences (memories), creating something from your photos and memories, and giving yourself (and/or your kids) something tangible and uplifting to look back on when you need a boost.  We all {NEED the process of preserving our photos and memories}--it's therapeutic!  In fact, {photos have been shown in studies to increase both happiness and relaxation}!
In fact, memories and creativity are even important to personal growth!  Like reading, meditating, and exercising are good for the soul, so are memories and creativity.  They're all hygge.  If you're not sure you're creative, YOU MUST READ {The Importance of Creativity to Personal Growth}.  It will give a you a better understanding of what creativity is, how much your soul needs it, and how you ARE creative.  It will make you feel good about yourself right now!  If you're not sure how memories (looking back) has anything to do with hygge, YOU MUST READ {The Importance of Memories to Personal Growth}--the resources and insights there blew my mind.  

Now that you know why hygge is so good for you and why photos and memories are so good for you, too, let's get to the real business of using photos and memories for hygge.

  1. The very first step to being able to use your photos and memories to bring you happiness and warmth and comfort is to sort your pictures.  This serves two purposes.  First, digital photos are usually cluttered and/or disorganized, with pictures of your finger and nine pictures of essentially the same thing scattered throughout.  Sorting through photos then deleting garbage pictures and duplicates make your pictures manageable.  Check out my video tutorial for organizing digital photos {here} if you need some help.  Second, too many pictures makes them overwhelming and actually makes them not very enjoyable.  Choose your favorites to upload to your computer for step 3.  (Short video tutorial on getting your pictures off your phone and onto your computer {here} if you need it.)
  2. Set aside time.  Hygge is unhurried.  It's a peaceful focus on warmth and comfort.  If you need some tips on making time, I've been collecting them for you for quite a while!  Scroll to the top of this blog and click the "don't have time?" tab in purple (under the header).  There are many resources there, including fantastic ideas from experts as well as some new perspectives about time you may not have thought about before.  There's also information about my online (free) Digi-Crops which are hygge in several ways--they involve photos and memories and friends.
  3. Now make something meaningful with your photos.  Creating something from your photos is hygge--good for your heart and soul.  Writing down your memories and what makes those photos fun or special or wonderful is also hygge--good for your heart and soul.  My go-to suggestion is to make a yearbook of all the photos from one year, and {this video tutorial} walks you through that step by step with heirloom-quality books.  But there are lots of ways to preserve your photos and memories, from high-quality softbound books and wirebound cookbooks to wall canvases and digital scrap pages.  Check out the "4 memory-keeping options" tab in purple at the top of this blog (under the header) to explore top-quality methods.  Find something you will enjoy!
In Denmark, hygge is mostly a winter tradition that starts in the late fall when days get shorter and colder, but as its popularity increases, people are seeing reasons to hygge in fall and spring.  I believe it's because our world is a little crazier now than it used to be.  With so many things clamoring for our attention and so much loudness and so many things we feel like we have to do, our desire for peace and quiet and comfort and self-care and warmth is continually on the increase.  Regular time spent with your photos and your memories is the best way I know of to carry that hygge softness with you all year long.

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  1. Hi Jennifer, it is so nice to meet you. Thank you for visiting my blog and commenting. I am researching your blog and getting an understanding of what you do. Obviously, I love photos and I am not real good at printing them or scrapbooking, they collect on my IPad. Wishing you a wonderful weekend!

  2. Thanks so much, Pam! It's nice to see you here. I love that you love photos!! :) You're in good company collecting them on your iPad--that's so common these days. In my blog posts here you'll often see me write about why photos are so good for the heart and soul.
    I'm happy you're perusing my blog, and I hope you find some gems! :) In a nutshell, what I do is introduce people to a high-quality method of publishing their photos (in hardbound books or scrap pages) that outshines all the rest using Heritage Makers. I can help people get started in whatever way(s) they need, from giving some photo organization tips to answering questions about using the (free) Heritage Makers software program, Studio. I've created a lot of video tutorials, too, including ideas for solutions to Photo Overwhelm as well as tutorials on how to make something using Heritage Makers Studio. I can also hire out to help with or do all of any books or other products anyone has in mind. Heritage Makers offers wirebound books (great for cookbooks or personalized planners), board books (sturdy for kids!) and lots and lots of other products for memory-keeping, personal or family history writing, and amazing gifts. Don't hesitate to use the "contact me" tab to let me know if you have questions. The Heritage Makers website is and you can explore the "products" or "template gallery" tabs to get a good feel for the meaningful things you can do with it. Thanks for stopping by and commenting! Let me know how I can help with your photos. :)

  3. I’ve been struggling with this! Thank you for the tutorial! -Tracy

  4. I’m so glad to hear it, Tracy! It really can make a world of difference. Photos are such a perfect way to hygge! šŸ™‚❤️


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