Cindy Says: Time to get your “Hygge” on!

Cindy Says: Time to get your “Hygge” on!

By Cindy Ripley on December 21, 2020

For many of us, it's the time of year where we crave more sunlight and sometimes experience the stress of the holidays. 2020, the year of COVID-19, has interrupted the way we create, experience, and perform musical theatre with our kids, communities, and the world. Stressful? The word does not even begin to incorporate the alterations teachers have made to their programs, enrollment lists, and schedules. On the bright side, there are bundles of new lessons everyone has learned: innovative tech skills, the ability to include students worldwide, and survival techniques that gives us hope.

Oaken, the cheerful and convivial character in Disney's Frozen JR. is an enthusiastic advocate for "Hygge", a showstopping number in Frozen JR. Pronounced "hoog-ga", this Danish concept cannot be translated to one single word, but encompasses a feeling of cozy contentment and well-being through enjoying the simple things in life.

As 2020 comes to a close, I implore you to gather up your inner "Hygge" as we decompress and anticipate positive changes for our students and programs in 2021.

Ideas to help you embrace your "Hygge":

• Learn something new that you have always wanted to try. Maybe something as simple as YouTubing the ultimate chocolate chip cookie recipe.

• Get some light therapy! This can be as easy as soaking up some Vitamin D outdoors or with a lamp!

• Get some exercise. It is proven to increase serotonin, the chemical responsible for stabilizing your mood and reducing anxiety. Make it as simple as a hike on a new path, sledding with kids or relaxing on your own yoga mat.

• Reach out to friends. Zoom a cocktail hour, brainstorm new shows that excite you, communicate about an imaginary vacation destination.

• Connect with fellow educators planning on attending one of the upcoming Junior Theatre Festivals online or in person. The connection among students and educators translates to lifelong friendships.

• Pat yourself on the back. I know it is one of my signature tidbits of advice, but 2020 has been one for the books, and you have continued to make the world a better place, one musical at a time.

Thankful for each and every one of you. CR

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