I chuckled when I saw the description of this book. After completing The year of living Danishly, it spoke to me. Cosy: The British art of comfort compares the British art of comfort with hygge, the Danish concept of cosiness, which has become well known in recent years.
Key points from Cosy: The British art of comfort
The author lists several British traditions or other items that characterise cosiness. These include:
We know the British for their love of tea. Tea features when life is good and when it is bad. According to the author, tea is: “Life-affirming and soul-warming, a cup of tea solves everything.”
Winter clothing is another form of the British art of comfort. It includes items, such as sweaters, socks, coats, boots, hats, shawls, thermals and ponchos.
The change in seasons also comforts us, as they require us to know ourselves in different ways.
The British love a wide range of cosy crafts, including Welsh weaving and knitting. Crafts help people relax and lower stress levels. Giving and receiving a handcrafted item makes both the giver and receiver happy.
Memories are often linked to food. Cosy food needs to be warm. Cosy food can be recipes passed down from one generation to the next, or food eaten with grandparents or friends. To be cosy, food needs to be prepared in a kitchen and not bought. Comfort food qualifies as cosy food.
Home and Hearth
Your home must be cosy to be a haven where you solve your problems. To be cosy, fill your home with personal items, memories and gifts from friends or family.
A cosy home needs good lighting, books and cushions. Layered lighting is the best way to create a cosy atmosphere. Other ways to create a cosy home are using candles, bedside lamps, blankets and a crackling wood fire.
Cosy and kind
A sense of cosy is simple to achieve. Having a home, blankets, socks makes it easier to be cosy. Being cosy is a way of life, but some people struggle with this. To be cosy and kind, you can donate a coat, de-ice your neighbours’ driveways, take soup to a neighbour and by knitting something for a homeless person.
Self-care is part of being cosy. Taking a bath at the perfect temperature of 104°F can be a way to relax and wind down. Be sure to add bubble bath or aromatherapy oils. A sound bath with meditation and listening is great for well-being.
Take your time when you wash your face and apply your make-up mindfully to become cosier. Certain types of crystals can also contribute to your well-being.
Music can influence our state of mind tremendously. It can regulate breathing and soothe you when you are feeling stressed.
A cosy state of mind
A cosy state of mind is the greatest medicine, and it is great for the brain. Cosy contemplation is also important and involves introspection.
Find a cosy spot in your home to contemplate in. Cosy corners are best as enclosed spaces are cosier than open spaces. Relax your mind and your body, even if you fall asleep.
Napping is conducive to improved wellbeing, especially when you can slouch in stylish pyjamas and loungewear.
You can achieve cosiness on your own, but also with friends you feel comfortable enough to lie on the sofa, touching feet or arms. People we can connect with are important for our souls.
Walking can be so satisfying. Walking outdoors and for long distances involves movement, which gives us physical and emotional momentum. Sitting around a fire with friends and family with food is good for our psyches.
Walking releases tension, burns energy and stimulates endorphins. Walking as an activity tackles illnesses and improves our mental health. A walking in nature added benefits and improve our health even further.
Camping is another cosy pursuit. Staying a cosy cottage while on holiday or visiting friends is another way of achieving a state of cosiness by breaking your normal routine and exploring an unusual environment.
Watching a cosy feel-good film when it is raining outside is cosy! The author gave a list of her favourite cosy films – many are also my favourites.
Books can also enhance cosiness. The author also gives a list of her favourite books as examples of cosy reads.
Christmas food and other traditions are also activities that contribute to a feeling of cosiness.