Hygge – it’s a name that has been popping up all over social media. But what exactly is Hygge and where is it from?
Hygge has actually been around in Denmark for many, many years. It’s an old Danish concept that helped people get through a long, cold, dark winter. Pronounced “hue-gah” it is a Danish and Norwegian word used to indicate moments of comfort and coziness and a feeling of general good well-being – think sitting around a fireplace on a cold winter’s night with a cup of cocoa, a good book and soft slippers on – that’s Hygge!
And the Danish obsession with Hygge helps them survive some pretty brutal winters and, according to writer Meik Wiking in his book The Little Book of Hygge it’s one of the reasons the Scandinavian country frequently tops the list of happiest countries in the world.
So how can you incorporate Hygge into your home? Here are five easy steps to make your environment and personal well-being benefit from a feeling of cozy comfort:
Install a Hyggekrog – this is basically an area of your home you can curl up and relax in. Be it a reading nook, oversized armchair, or window seat – curve out an area of your home that is just for curling up in with a good book, cup of tea and a soft blanket.
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Burn Candles – the Danes burn more candles than any other country in the world and the gentle glow of candlelight is perfect for creating a Hygge atmosphere in your home. So turn down the electric lamps and light some candles to create a peaceful, comforting atmosphere.
Spend Time with Loved Ones – close friends and family all add to a feeling of general well being – kind of! The trick is to surround yourself with the friends and family that you actually enjoy spending time with and to spend time with them doing low-key, relaxing things. Think sitting around an outdoor fire chatting, enjoying a smorgasbord of comfort foods, playing board games, or enjoying group picnics in the park.
Understand Simplicity – Hygge is all about embracing the simple things in life, so simplifying the home helps promote a feeling of well being. One way to start is to rid the home of clutter that can cause stress and anxiety. By focusing on what is truly important in life such as good friends, simple food, slowing down, taking a social media break and allowing the body to relax, will allow your home to embrace the art of Hygge.
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Allow Yourself to Indulge – Life doesn’t have to be all go, go, go. The body needs time to relax and unwind and your home should be a warm and inviting place to do that. Long bubble baths, a variety of soft throws in a basket by the sofa, your favorite candles, soothing teas or a much-loved bottle of wine – these are all things you should make sure your home offers. When you walk through the front door after a hard day at work, your home should make you feel as though all the tension releases from your body. If you find it hard to relax when you come in, take ten minutes to sit in your quiet spot, listen to a meditation podcast if that helps, or drink a soothing cup of tea. The feeling of Hygge should be like a warm hug to the soul! So do what makes you feel happy. Embrace your passions and hobbies, eat that extra piece of cake, curl up with a good book and sit around a fire laughing and chatting with good friends.