This time of year we hear a lot about Seasonal Affective Disorder, cleverly titled as an acronym that sums up its impact.
SAD’s had a good run but I’m proposing an alternative – ‘UP’ – a syndrome experienced by a tiny minority of those carrying the virus of ‘Unbridled Positivity’.
It’s a condition that I researched as part of my PhD. You’ll spot UPs a mile off. They’re the weirdos with a spring in their step and a grin on their face. The nights are getting longer, the sunlight is fading, the temperature is dropping, the leaves are turning… isn’t it FANTASTIC!
There’s a line from Anne of Green Gables that sums UP up: “I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers”.
But carriers of UP are not seasonally affected. They tend to have UP all year round. Sure, Autumn is epic, but Winter’s way cool too. And don’t even get me started on Spring and Summer!
Best of all, UP requires no meds. It’s good for you and those around you. Even better, it can be learned! In part, it comes from noticing and embracing moments that the Danish call Hygge, which translates as coziness, warmth and being enveloped in snuggliness. Hygge has equivalencies in Sweden [Mysa; to be engaged in a pleasant or comfortable activity; to be content or comfortable; to get cosy; to snuggle up] and Norway [Peiskos; Fireplace coziness, sitting in front of a crackling fireplace enjoying the warmth].
I love hygge because it’s primitive and basic and, even better, you can’t buy the right atmosphere and sense of togetherness. Neither can you hurry it. In fact, the more money and prestige is associated with something, the less hygge it is! How wonderful is that? Drinking tea is more hygge than drinking champers. Playing board games is more hygge than computer games. Home made cake is more hygge than bought. Food-wise think soup, a hearty stew and Sunday lunch.
Turns out that almost the same thing exists much closer to home, in Wales. Cwtch, to get cosy. To hug/cuddle; a sanctuary; a safe, welcoming place.
Hygge, Mysa, Peiskos, Cwtch… shout out your moments and amplify the snuggliness and love.
Catch UP and pass it on…