Hygge [h-ou-gir] ‘Hygge is something you strive for. It’s like a compass, steering us towards small moments that money cannot buy you, finding the magic in the ordinary.’
(Marie Tourell Soderberg)
The Danish art of hygge is very big news at the moment. We are all seeking inspiration from our Scandinavian neighbours, particularly when it comes to surviving these Winter months with our good spirits still intact. But what is hygge, and how can we interpret it into our own busy, fast paced lives? Why not start with these five simple ways to bring a little hygge to your life this season.
1. Create a cosy environment
Home and home comforts are a huge part of the hygge ethos. From chunky blankets to candles and tactile furnishings, you should make home your haven from the outside elements. The Danes live in clutter free environments, so think about living simply, yet surrounding yourself with those things that bring you most joy. A scent from a special candle, or a vase of fresh flowers might be all you need to brighten up an otherwise grey day.
2. Cook a warming meal
Think about hearty food this Winter – from stews and soups to casseroles and cassoulets. Wholesome, nourishing ingredients are the order of the day. The Danes believe that Winter is not the time for fad diets or cutting back, and instead choose to fuel their bodies for cold weather days. And in doing so they believe that their mood is positively impacted too.
3. Spend time with friends and family
Continue the festive cheer into the first few months of the year with Winter gatherings at home. Invite friends and family to join you for cosy evenings in over drinks and food and encourage them to kick off their shoes and make themselves at home. Hygge is as much about how others feel in your company, and time spent with your nearest and dearest is always the best mood-lifter.
4. Wind down
It sounds so simple, but in reality we are a nation of worker bees. Our days are filled with tasks and to-dos and then we spend our evenings catching up around home, or glued to technology. Think about switching off early, having a long bath, or reading a book. Moments spent in peace, particularly before bed, can be the best aid to a restful sleep.
5. Plan moments to look forward to
Hygge is all about embracing the season that you are in for its benefits and positives, but equally it’s a notion that this too shall pass, and that brighter days will come again. Make plans for the future – big ones like Summer holidays or family gatherings, and smaller ones too, such as Spring day trips or even just which new bulbs to plant in your garden. It is the notion that everything has its season, of evolving and moving forward. Of the here and now, and also of what is to come.
Happy hygge-ing this Winter!