The Danish concept of Hygge is a relatively new one for me. I was gifted a book about it in 2016 and it left storage late 2017 to be studied by yours truly. The irony is that I wanted to curl up with a book and take some chill time and that’s part of what Hygge is about. This time was to be cosy, in front of the fire and with a hot cup of tea – enjoying the simple things in life, cultivating the most from my environment and being cosy.
In 2018, it’s fair to say that we, as a human race have lots going on. There’s technology, busy work days, friends, family and so much more. Those are just the basics not including gym and studies for some. How often do we get to truly enjoy the simple things in life?
Hygge promotes a cosy and warm lifestyle based on Danish culture. It is derived from the word ‘ wellbeing’ which is Norwegian. Some also refer to it as the art of practicing intimacy. It can be alone or with friends and can compose of a variety of activities or lack thereof. The idea is that there is warmth, togetherness and an appreciation of the simple things in life – back to basics, as my mother would say.
Which brings me to what Hygge is not. It is not spending hours on the phone, social media or Netflix. Nor is it getting tipsy on a bottle of wine while slaving over your laptop.
There are loads of ways to bring Hygge into the home.
Number one is to declutter. A house must be lived in but filling it with items that are unused and unloved makes for poor energy and at times, negative energy. Things are distracting and can take away from achieving Hygge. What do you currently have in your home that you don’t use or love?
Taking comfort in the home is number two. How much comfort do you feel in your home? What could add to that comfort? For me, it’s blankets, having the fire on when it’s cold, candles and relaxing scents.
Being aware of what room is for what and sticking to it creates clear boundaries in the home. I don’t eat in my bedroom, I prefer to not have a television in my bedroom (and probably never will) and the kitchen is for eating with some work at the kitchen table. The living room is where I spend the most waking hours so I find it affects my energy the most. What do your rooms mean to you?
What are the simple things that make you happy? What gives you a sense of belonging? Hygge can be something as simple as sitting on the porch with a lemonade on a hot Summer’s day or visiting a friend after work for a cup of tea. It’s about connection and belonging to others as much as the self.
The feelings of Hygger we can feel certainly explain why Danes (the creators of Hygge) are amongst the happiest people in the world. No matter what nation or culture we stem from, it’s something that we can encompass in our day to day lives.
Other simple pleasures that work for me (to experience Hygge) are sitting and catching up with my boyfriend after work (minus technology), spending time with a friend having a walk or hike and crafting with my loved ones.
Have a think about it. What could Hygge mean to you? What elements of Hygge do you think you could add to your life?
Share your thoughts below.