It’s January. In Ohio.
I ask each morning, “Alexa, what’s the weather today?”
She responds, “It’s 31 degrees outside, with a high of 37 and considerable cloudiness.”
It’s January. In Ohio.
January can be such a challenging month. We work to financially balance the previous year and budget for the year ahead, we ensure we schedule or show up at those beginning of the year medical appointments, and pickleball has moved completely inside. And it’s so cloudy and grey and dark. The holidays are behind us as we patiently await spring ahead. And this year, we haven’t even had the respite of a beautiful snowfall. This is when we need to embrace the art of coziness. There are many ways to be cozy and have intentional practices of coziness, and January is the month to lean into and embrace cozy.
The book of Proverbs is lovely wisdom passed down by wise people of our faith. These proverbs are based on the writers’ experiences of life and God. Here is a short expression from Proverbs that our ancestors impart their wisdom to us this day:
What brightens the eyes gladdens the heart;
Good news puts fat on the bones. (The Jewish Study Bible)
A twinkle in the eye means joy in the heart,
and good news makes you feel fit as a fiddle. (The Message)
Our eyes need a twinkle of brightness, and trying to embrace coziness in January is good for our bones. Coziness can be a faith practice, an intentional activity that engages our spiritual selves.
The concept of being cozy is universal too, but different cultures have their own terms for it. Here are a few examples from around the world with an example of how you might practice it:
This Danish term encompasses the feeling of coziness, contentment, and well-being, often associated with enjoying simple pleasures and creating a warm atmosphere.
Hygge Practice: Listen to comforting music.
This German word refers to a sense of warmth, friendliness, and coziness. It’s often used to describe a comfortable, welcoming environment.
Gemütlichkeit Practice: Light candles and bake cookies.
This Dutch term encompasses a feeling of friendliness, coziness, and togetherness. It’s often used to describe a pleasant, sociable atmosphere.
Gezelligheid Practice: Make plans with good friends.
This term is similar to the concept of hygge and is used in Scotland to describe a feeling of warmth, comfort, and snugness, especially during colder months.
Cosagach Practice: Wrap yourself in a plush blanket and read a book or watch a movie.
While not specifically about coziness, the Hawaiian term “pono” refers to a sense of balance, harmony, and well-being, which can contribute to a comfortable and contented state.
Pono Practice: Look at your calendar and ensure you have the right balance of play, rest, work, joy, and peace in the next few weeks.
While not a direct translation of coziness, fika is a Swedish concept that involves taking a break to enjoy a cup of coffee or tea, often with something sweet, in a relaxed and cozy manner.
Fika Practice: Drink hot tea or coffee and eat the pastry.
Listen to the wisdom of our ancestors and seek the twinkle and brightness in January, coziness is good for our bones and our spirituality.
What is one cozy practice you do in January?
-Written by Brittany Porch
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