Thursday, June 4, 2015
In an older post of mine on Thinking about Change, I started talking about my experience of coziness, and how it started to become something rather important to me. I realised as I wrote about it there that it was actually far more important to me than I had first envisaged, and so I decided to explore it a little further here. I think (hope) it is something other people can relate to - possibly mostly people with experiences of chronic illness or pain, but perhaps others too! All I know is that being cozy is something that is pretty important to me - particularly now the colder weather is here!

First of all, I realise that my interest in feeling cozy may be something to do with my background - my parents are both from England originally, and when I visited with them and my brother back in 2007, I found that I revelled in the cooler weather, and adored the winter clothes, the layers of blankets, the actually warm clothes and pyjamas. (seriously, most of the track pants/fleece pants I find here are pitifully thin - fine for Spring when you're just lazing around or doing some gentle exercise like yoga, but pitifully ill-equipped to deal with any version of Winter.) So my love of cozy was pretty much having the time of its life while I was there.

Then there's also the reason I found when I last explored this idea in writing - the one of looking after myself the best way I know how - through gentle tactile experiences and softness. It is a way for me to turn around to myself and give myself permission to rest - whether I am resting my whole self (this does have to happen sometimes), or perhaps just my physical body, or perhaps my mind. More often than not what I require is support and restful things for my physical body - to sit or lie down, warmth on the parts that hurt (or anywhere in general, as I have a hard time regulating my temperature at times), sustenance (more often than not? Tea.).

You have discovered: A Bethwyn Nest!

Despite being a little claustrophobic, I also don't mind being surrounded by pillows and blankets, creating my own nook or nest. (My name for this changes depending on the mood I am: sometimes it's nest, sometimes nook, sometimes den...) I think I manage to avoid feeling trapped in that situation because it is something that I can escape from at any time, and it is often something created for me (sometimes by me) in an environment of love and care, and that makes it cozy rather than frightening. I can also add to this nest by carefully making myself a pot of tea to drink through, or gathering some favourite soft toys around me (the Disney Tsum Tsums I own are fast favourites), or coaxing Bronte up for some cuddles.

Item acquired: Bronte Cuddles.

Coziness is also something I experience as kind of a construct rather than anything physical - some books give me that cozy feeling, some tv series make me feel comfortable and snug. Movies are also another thing that can bring that coziness, and even games! It becomes more of a sensation or emotion then, rather than a physical state, and it is really hard for me to explain what I mean. It's like picking up a favourite book that you know well - Harry Potter might be a good example - and when you start reading it you just feel loved and safe and 'home'. It it like your brain is getting a bit of a hug, but in a gentle way.

Some of the things that conjure this sensation within me include:

  • Matilda by Roald Dahl - book and movie
  • Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert - book and sometimes movie
  • Bridget Jones' Diary - mostly the two movies
  • Any books about reading, like Nick Hornby's Polysyllabic Spree
  • The Friends tv series
  • Castle, but just seasons one to four, and I can be very selective about which ones I want to watch...
  • The Aristocats - my childhood movie of love
  • Cardcaptor Sakura - series, movies, manga, you name it.
  • Pride and Prejudice! The BBC series and book, of course. Also, in the Jane Austen theme, Sense and Sensibility - book and Emma Thompson movie
  • ...and, of course, most things by J. K. Rowling. Even her crime books written as Robert Galbraith conjure comfort for me, in a strange way.

What about you? What makes you feel cozy and safe? Love to all who read.

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