You’re probably not pronouncing it right, unless of course you’re Danish. Or you’re like me and you’ve read The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living by Meik Wiking (if you haven’t, you should!).
So, what is Hygge? Hygge is a Danish word and concept that describes a feeling or moment as cozy, content and special. You can be alone, with friends or family, indoors or outside and doing pretty much anything. However, to be Hygge you must present and mindful with what you’re doing and whoever you’re with (even if that’s just yourself). It’s also usually simple, or at least easy for yourself.
Dane’s have created a lifestyle out of Hygge. It helps them find comfort in the cold and dark seasons which can be oh so long. As someone living in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, this hit close to home for me. We tend to have long, cold winters. One year, there was literally snow for 7 months straight. It can be super hard to find the motivation to even leave your house sometimes. There’s mountains of snow beside the sidewalks, it’s dark by 5 and you need to wear a million layers to stay warm. Hygge calls to the homebody in me. It makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. Plus, it’s so mindful and intentional, which is something I’m trying really hard to be from now on.
Have I tempted you yet? Are you craving a moment, or an evening, or even a life that’s a little slower, a little simpler and a whole lot cozier? Here’s some of the ways I’ve started incorporating Hygge into my every day life:
I put up a bunch of fairy lights! I currently have 6 little battery operated strings around my house and they make the dark mornings and early evenings so much sweeter. I also have a bunch of LED candles that I put around on shelves and things (I have two little girls, so this is a nice way to have a bunch of candles without the danger of little people grabbing them). Of course I have real candles as well, in scents I love a lot and fit with the different seasons nicely (my favourite right now is this one from Chapters, but I can’t find it on the site 😦 ). I’d really like to try some wood wick candles, so those are on my wishlist too. For Christmas I was gifted a beautiful little salt rock nightlight from my husband and it is so perfectly Hygge! Mine is in my living room, but I’d like to get a couple more for the rest of the house (dark hallway, Indie’s room, etc). I have a salt rock lamp in my bedroom that is pretty much always on. Bright lights have never really been my thing, (ADHD problems amiright?) so I already had all this stuff on hand but learning about hygge helped me apply them better.
Cooking good food from scratch with friends or family. I love to cook, but sometimes I get stuck in a rut of what to cook and we end up making baked chicken breasts with rice and salad 7 days in a row. I’ve been making a big effort to meal plan and cook as much as I can. It’s also fun to do it as a family or even with our friends.
I set up a reading nook in my home, right next to the wood burning fireplace of course (I am so lucky). I’ve been reading tons in the last couple months and it’s been so nice to slow down that way. I love to grab a warm blanket, a book, and curl up on my reading chair as much as possible (aka as much as the kids let me).
These are just some things I’ve started so far. There’s tons of other Hygge stuff out there! Invite your friends over for a night of hot drinks and fun board games, do it unplugged of course. Go find a big, snowy hill and sled like when you were a kid. Curl up on the couch under piles of blankets with your best friend and talk without distractions. Cook a yummy stew and try baking your own bread to go with it. I’ll be incorporating this concept into my life as much as possible, so I will have more posts and ideas for you as the days go on. For now though, why not grab your favourite mug, your favourite coffee, light a beautiful candle. Sip slowly and breathe deeply. And maybe leave your phone in a different room.
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