Could ‘Hygge’ Help Cure Your Trump Anxiety? The Calming Lifestyle Trends for 2017
If the prospect of Trump’s presidency is causing you immense anxiety, at least momentary respite may be offered by ‘hygge,’ sound baths, and multisensory wellness centers.
For some, Donald Trump’s presidential campaign was so nightmarish it quite literally disrupted their sleep, with many describing bizarre and terrifying visitations from our soon-to-be-president long before a Trump administration was a reality.
Shrinks saw an uptick in (Democrat) patients seeking Xanax prescriptions and solace on the couch as early as September. Now that a good portion of the American electorate has emerged from a state of shock and is anxiously counting down the days until Trump takes office, here are a few lifestyle strategies for coping in President Trump’s America.
Create a cozy, safe “hygge” living space
For those whose dream of an America transformed into a Scandinavian-style social democracy was dashed when Bernie Sanders lost the primary election, there’s hope yet in hygge, the Danish lifestyle phenomenon that gripped America this year.
While there’s no direct English translation, the closest definition of hygge—pronounced “hoo-guh”—is “cozy,” and it just might be the next best thing to fleeing to Denmark (or any other Scandinavian country) for the next four years.
If a Trump presidency is a dark, years-long winter storm, hygge is your refuge—a life replete with flickering candles and fireplaces, knitted scarves, shearling blankets, warm milk, muesli, and friends or family.
The first step to achieving hygge would be to transform your home into a hyggekrog, a nook-like safe space where you’re insulated from the sound and fury of the Trump administration.
Surround yourself with hyggelig people (hyggelig, pronounced “hoo-guh-lee,” is apparently the adjectival form of hygge) and fill your home with hyggelig décor like light-colored wooden tables and woven textiles, available on websites like Hyggelife.com.
Avoid CNN, Twitter, and other news outlets where talk of Hurricane Trump is relentless: These are not conducive to hygge. Instead, learn how to make grogg and keep copies of How to Hygge: The Nordic Secrets to a Happy Life and The Little Book of Hygge, among other hygge-themed reading, on your Danish-style bedside table.
Let the hate flow through you
When not cocooned in your hyggekrog, you’ll need ways to adjust to President Trump’s rhetorical assault on the media, Muslims, and our constitutional rights.
As little as 10 minutes of meditation a day could help you cope with all the hate, and would go something like this: Envision Trump’s bigotry; observe your feelings as it hovers around your third eye; let it pass through you like a bout of nausea; then watch it evaporate like a plume of smoke.
If our soon-to-be-president’s misogyny and other hateful rhetoric continues to nag and overwhelm, you might have to go all in with dream meditation, the latest mindfulness craze (Livestrong.com editor in chief Jess Barron recently described it as “conscious dreaming” and “like visualization practice on steroids”).
For those who live in Los Angeles and have $145-a-month to spare, you can get a membership at Beverly Hills’ new Dream Reality Cinema where, for 45 minutes, you’ll recline in a zero gravity chair while watching a 3-D film that teaches you how to meditate while you sleep.
Dream meditation supposedly enables you to control your dreams, which would certainly help those who can’t even escape Trump in their sleep.
Or tune out the hate
Routine sound baths might be another way of muting Trump’s bigotry and grating voice, especially given the latter will be broadcast on television during his forthcoming State of the Union and in times of crisis over the next four years.
Once only known to hippie fringes, sound baths have recently made their way to the New Age mainstream and are meant to facilitate deep relaxation and other mind-body health benefits, including improved brain functioning and a more balanced nervous system.
There are no tubs involved; rather, a sound bath technician tweaks instruments like tuning forks, crystal singing bowls, and gongs, which tickle and echo in the bather’s ear like a whirring fan. While we have little scientific proof of sound therapy’s myriad benefits, our country will soon be governed by a man who says there’s little scientific proof that climate change is real. Anecdotally, I can attest that a good sound bath will temporarily distract you from your anxieties about the fate of the free world under President Trump. And in these trying times, as Oxford Dictionaries declared “post-truth” 2016’s international word of the year, faith and feelings are everything.
Enter the WOOM, where nothing is too orange
Multisensory wellness centers are popping up in coastal cities like Los Angeles and New York, promising New Age seekers a yoga-inspired practice that stimulates all the senses, incorporating sound therapy, meditation, and healing elixirs in one experience. WOOM in Manhattan is one of the most buzzed-about centers in this particular category—and the space’s bright, minimalist aesthetic is a respite from the sloppy opulence that we’ve come to associate with everything Trump.
Escape to Iceland
With its otherworldly, Lord of the Rings-esque landscapes, geothermal hot springs, geysers, waterfalls, Northern Lights, and concerts inside volcanoes, Iceland seems about as far away from Trump’s America as one can get without traveling halfway around the world. It also happened to be one of 2016’s top travel destinations, according to Google search, which means there’s still time to go before it’s passé.
Those disenchanted with the state of our country can commiserate with members of Iceland’s anti-establishment Pirate Party, which is devoted to “fundamental system change,” according to party leader Birgitta Jónsdóttir. “In other words, we consider ourselves hackers—so to speak—of our current outdated systems of government.” Make friends while immersing yourself in hot springs—and, maybe, gain some perspective before returning to the States.
Embrace anti-Trump “flair”
Pins, patches, stickers, and other forms of “flair” are forecasted to be one of the biggest fashion trends in 2017, according to the in-house data team at Pinterest, the image-collecting platform and website.
So while we end 2016 with visions of “Make America Great Again” hats dancing in our heads and Trump endeavoring to deliver on his campaign slogan, we can begin the New Year satisfied knowing that anti-Trump flair will likely come across the president-elect’s transom—and certainly get under his skin.