Slide into the soft pants, wrap up in a blanket, put the kettle on, turn on some grooves and let’s find some comfort. The Danes have it right in their Hygge practice — which is now, for obvious reasons, all the rage. In these times when we feel uneasy about our world, we look for ways to soothe our bodies, soul and surroundings.
Yet comfort isn’t just about the tactile — the hot bath or the warm hug — but your environs, your state of mind, your security, your sense of peace with yourself. “The most common form of despair is not being who you are,” said Kierkegaard. To find comfort is also to relax into our truest state — to find home.
Music is my ultimate comfort drug. It envelopes me, moves me off my seat, soothes and is an instant mood changer. Scratch that; it’s better than any drug. While writing this, I’m listening to one of my most easy-breezy Spotify playlists. It has a West Coast soul vibe: “Strawberry Letter 23” by Shuggie Otis, “I Am the Black Gold of the Sun” by Rotary Connection, “Nightbird” by Labelle, “I Can’t Stand the Rain” by Ann Peebles. Oldies comfort. You know the words, the crescendos, the rooted bass, the cooing background vocals (background vocals!). I still like to be surprised by new music, but sometimes the most satisfying sounds are the ones we already know.
This week, we hear stories from caregivers and those who want to find comfort for themselves.
- Jennifer Hudak’s self-care shifts her relationship with her daughter
- Christine Stroebel takes care of her father in his final days
- Neil Kramer seeks out Hygge for relationship happiness
- I survey 18 truly comfortable shoes. Because comfort? Shoes.
- And my husband writes about what it was like taking care of me during chemo. (You read that — I can’t.)
(Image: Daily Herald Archive at the National Media Museum Inventory)