You may have heard about the latest trend in the world of wellbeing, called hygge. If you haven’t, we’re here to tell you what is it exactly, how to pronounce it, and how you can incorporate it into your life. It’s a great way to get some downtime and perfect for the holiday season to keep you feeling happy, grounded, and comfortable. It’s time for some you time…
So what is hygge?
Hygge (pronounced HUE-gah, making sure to breathe out the H!) is a Danish word used to acknowledge a moment as cozy, charming or special. Hygge is about consciousness, though not just being present in the moment but recognizing and enjoying that moment. It is a huge part of Danish culture and Danes refer to hygge as the art of creating intimacy (either with friends, yourself or within your home).
There is no English word for it but it can be described as a feeling of ‘contentness’, reassurance and wellbeing’, and many people relate it to the feeling of being hugged (hygge, hug – yes, they are related!). If you’ve ever enjoyed reading a book indoors on a rainy afternoon or sipping a hot cup of cocoa on a snowy day, you’ve experienced hygge without even knowing it. Now it’s all about recognizing those moments and appreciating them.
Taking note of these simple pleasures and rejoicing in them can make a difference to your wellbeing, especially now as the darker evenings draw in and colder weather creeps in on this side of the equator. So, it’s time to hunker down, settle in and do as the Dane’s do. Here’s how you make your life more hygge this winter:
1. Share more homecooked meals with family and friends
Spending time with the people we love makes us happy. But when was the last time you sat around a big table with all your nearest and dearest sharing delicious food and really taking the time to take each other in? (OK, for our American mamas we know Thanksgiving was just the other day! But why not make a habit of it?) More homecooked meals around the table and embracing slow nights in with your loved ones are definitely living the hygge life.
2. Cozy up by a roaring fire
There’s nothing quite like the warmth of a fire, especially during the coldest months. A real wood fire works best but if this is not possible, improvise with an electric fire or even just a radiator, you can still create a super cozy environment and a bit of bliss!
3. Dim the lights and light the candles
You get enough of the glare of electric bulbs throughout your day – when evening settles in at home and you’re ready to relax, light some candles instead. The flickering flames create a relaxing atmosphere even in the darkest rooms. This is hygge at it’s best.
4. Bake some rustic treats
There really is nothing better than the smell of freshly baked goods wafting through the house. The simple act of creating something from scratch can also be really satisfying especially when it tastes so good! Simple pleasures are what hygge is all about.
5. Indulge in some hot cocoa
So cold you feel it in your bones and need a nighttime pick-me-up? Nothing a cup of hot cocoa can’t fix. Warm, chocolatey goodness will never fail to make you feel even a bit better. We think nothing beats a cocoa made from real dark chocolate – it’s rich and indulgent and packed with those good-for-you antioxidants. But however you choose to have it, fix it in your favorite large mug for full comfort effect.
6. Unplug with a great book
Get snuggled up under a nice warm blanket and get stuck into a proper paper book. For all you Kindle readers – try to find a bound book that you’ve been wanting to read and let yourself disconnect from the electronic world for a while. Being glued to your phone or tablet pulls us away from the hygge mindset. It’s all about unplugging, looking up and taking in the real world around you.
So, will you try living the hygge life this winter? Share your favorite hygge moments in the comments below.