Hygge (pronounced Hue-ga).
If you haven’t heard of it...well, that’s impossible! You can’t go online these days without at least seeing the word here and there. If you’re really not that familiar with the concept, though, “Hygge” is a Danish word that roughly translates into a culture full of everything cozy, warm, and relaxing. It’s a lifestyle that’s all about comfort, cakes and pastries (seriously!) and spending time with those you love. And it might be THE reason that Denmark is considered to be one of the happiest countries in the world!
But since we can’t all move to Denmark (or can we?), I’ve put together a list of ways to 'Hygge' up your life this winter! Here's how you can give your home a warm and welcoming feel during these colder months and get your mind into Hygge-mode!
Home Décor – No, you don’t have to go out and buy all new things. You can add Hygge to your home with items you already have. Think cozy blankets, throw pillows, dim light from a lamp or candle (or fireplace!), warm colours and anything else that gives your home a warm and cozy vibe.
Food & Drink – Hygge is all about allowing yourself to enjoy life’s simple pleasures. There’s a lot of indulging involved. Winter is great time to bake a pie or a batch of cookies to enjoy together as a family! Make a giant pot of comforting soup, or sit down and relax together with a warm mug of coffee, tea or hot chocolate.
Clothing – One word: comfortable. I’m talking oversized sweaters, pajama pants, yoga pants, scarves, toques, mittens! Basically, if it makes you warm and makes you smile, wear it!
Hygge isn’t just about your surroundings though. It’s also about your mindset. You can’t go into Hygge mode if your mind is constantly stressing about work or thinking about your to-do list. The Danes only have 30-35 hour work weeks (there's another reason to move to Denmark!), so clearly, having a good work-life balance is a priority for them. I think it should be made more of a priority in our lives, too.
Be Present – Hygge has a lot to do with being fully in the moment. It means putting down your phone for a few hours to play a board game with your family, or watch a movie and eat popcorn. Try curling up with a good book and mug of hot tea by your side (If you haven’t noticed, hot drinks are a HUGE part of the Hygge life!)
Togetherness – Spending time with those you love doing things you love is VERY Hygge. So is enjoying nature. Get outside this winter and build a snowman! Head to your favourite hill and go tobogganing! Bundle up and go for a wintery walk. Laugh, play, bond.
Gratitude – Hygge has a lot to do with being thankful for what you have. I read a quote online that said “Happy people don’t have the best of everything, they make the best of everything”. I truly believe that.
To me, Hygge is a wonderful, healthy and happy way to live. I think we could all learn a thing or two from our Danish friends. I also think we should all use it as an excuse to enjoy a Danish pastry (or two). Totally Hygge-approved! In fact, it’s encouraged!Happy Hygge-ing!