Hygge is my new favorite word.
I stumbled across it last fall, and instantly connected with the concept. But what in the world is this strange word? And what does it have to do with my life?
Hygge (/ˈhjuːɡə/ HEW-gə or /ˈhuːɡə/ HOO-gə) is the Scandinavian word for a mood of coziness and comfortable conviviality with feelings of wellness and contentment. Over recent years, hygge became a defining characteristic of Danish culture.The word hygge comes from a Danish word meaning “wellbeing”. But it is also speculated that hygge might originate from the word hug.
I didn’t realize it, but unconsciously in the past two years, everything I’ve invited into my life has had to evoke this feeling. From comfortable clothing, to skincare that is soothing and relaxing, to the furnishings I buy for my house. Most of what you’ll see me talk about on this blog will have this element running through it. When I’m stressed, or even when I’m not, for me, being cozy, comfortable, and safe is key to being happy, or at least content. Especially in these frigid, Michigan winters.
So how do you create a Hygge life that will allow you to truly relax and decompress?
1. Keep it basic
Hygge isn’t complicated. Find a fuzzy blanket, light a candle, brew a cup of tea, and watch the snow falling outside your window. It’s as easy as that. You can use what you already have on hand, whatever makes you feel cozy and contented.
2. Buy some extra candles
The Danes burn more candles than anyone else in the world. The flickering light of a candle, the shadows cast along a wall, the crackle of a fireplace. Natural light is the most hygge of things and will make any room feel more cozy.
3. Put on your comfiest clothes
Hygge is all about comfort. Soft fleece leggings, baggy sweatshirts, cozy knitted sweaters, fuzzy socks. When your body is comfortable, the rest of it just falls into place.
4. Brew a warm beverage
There’s just something so soothing about cupping a mug of tea or hot chocolate between your hands and watching a fire crackle in the hearth. Even when you’re not able to go full on hygge, you can create a little oasis of peace by just creating that bit of ritual.
5. Spend time with friends and family
Hygge isn’t just about staying warm in winter and hibernation from the season. It also means spending time with people you love, who make you feel happy and safe. Having a picnic outside, a cozy dinner party with just your best friends, an outdoor movie night all can evoke the feeling of Hygge.
Creating a Hygge life can be as simple or complex as you make it, but can have real benefits in happiness and comfort. Just a few easy additions like candles or soft fabrics can help improve your quality of life or at least make those difficult days a tiny bit easier.
Have you heard of Hygge before? What are your favorite ways to get cozy and comfortable?
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