When life serves you lemons, make lemonade – truer words have never been spoken, given the current global environment. While the utmost priority at this moment is to be indoors and safe, we also need to keep ourselves happy, build our immunity, stay strong, positive and feel useful.
Taking inspiration from the Danes and Swedes, Hygge and Lagom, are intrinsic to their way of life respectively. Huddled at home, during the icy, dark winters, life can get depressing and the Scandinavians have mastered the art of being happy by making the most of being indoors and creating memorable moments out of little nothings.
Indians are hoarders, so first things first – de-clutter! If you rummage around the house, you are sure to find half-used candles. Light these around the family room, and have a cosy evening with those house-bound with you. Candles add lovely soft light, much preferred by the Danes, who are amongst the largest consumers of candles in the world.
Next, collect old boxes and cartons. Involve the kids and re-use for arts and crafts projects…a fish mobile perhaps? Clear out the fridge and store cupboard, discard old sauces and empty out old jars. Give them a good clean. Use as tea light holders and vases. Set aside some to fill later with chutney, achaar and jams…decorate with pretty bows and they will serve as great home-made gifts.
Hygge and Lagom are also about sustainability, so clear your cupboard, and sew together strips of discarded garments to make colourful coasters and foot mats. Set aside old shoes to restore when things improve…remember, you are also giving employment to the local cobbler/ specialized shoe- restorer.
Old newspapers are great to clean windows and use old paints, broken necklaces or assorted beads to decorate old, diwali diyas.
De-cluttering can be so much fun, so make the most of being at home to create gifts for others and some happy moments for you. Stay safe and eat healthy.
This article has been contributed by Priyadarshini Kohli.