We keep hearing the word HYGGE, but what is it and how do you even pronounce it? According to Hygge House, the proper pronunciation of the word is “hue-guh” not “hoo-gah”.
Danes created this concept as a way to endure the cold winter months. There are so many cold dark days, that simple things such as a home cooked meal enjoyed with friends can make a huge difference in lifting one’s spirit. For them it’s a way to find moments to celebrate. This Danish concept doesn’t translate perfectly into English, but in its essence, it encompasses a feeling of coziness, contentment and well-being through the enjoyment of the simple things in life. It’s about being aware of a good moment.
Hygge requires a certain slowness and consciousness, and not only the ability to be present, but to enjoy the present. It’s really more of a feeling than anything else, but is also the art of creating intimacy with yourself, your friends, and your home.
This obsession with all things cozy is credited as one of the main reasons why Denmark is always at the top of the list of the world’s happiest countries. Meik Wiking, author of “The Little Book of Hygge” and CEO of The Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen says that “Hygge is such an important part of being Danish that it is considered a defining feature of our cultural identity and integral part of the national DNA’.
- Lighting Candles- This is often considered this the most important part of creating a hyggelig (hygge-like) atmosphere. In fact, according to Wiking, Danish people burn more candle wax a year per capita than any other country in the world.
- Blankets & Comfy Clothes- Cozy blankets are a must! Our favourite is our extra cozy Reve Blanket. Having something warm to wrap yourself up with is key, as are comfy clothes and warm socks to slip into as soon as you get home.
- Comfort Food- Food and drink play a big role in helping to create cozy vibes. The focus should be on comfort and familiarity, but what this means will be different for each person. Some examples might be warm herbal teas, wholesome bowls of chilli or warm baked goods fresh from the oven.
- Take A Walk- Take a walk alone, with a dog, or with friends, no matter the weather. Alone, it’s a chance to break from a busy schedule and a way to get closer to nature. With friends, it’s a chance to enjoy each other’s company, get some exercise and fresh air and not spend a cent.
Hygge is about creating a certain atmosphere, not about purchasing lots of expensive stuff. To be truly hygge, remember to look around you and to appreciate all the simple things that bring joy to your life. Try this: rather than complaining about the bad weather this winter, light some candles, wrap yourself in your coziest blanket, and read a book that’s been on your reading list. Take a look around you, be present and be thankful for the warmth and shelter of your home.
At its heart, hygge isn’t about spending money, it’s not about stuff, it’s about a particular feeling or mood. It’s a practice of living in the present that forces us to SLOW DOWN, relax and enjoy life.
Stray & Wander Team