The hygge what, we hear you say! Don’t worry, if you’ve never heard the word “hygge” before, you’re in for a treat. While this Danish word (which is pronounced “hue-gah,”) can’t be translated into a single English word, its overall meaning refers to a feeling of cozy contentment and well-being through enjoying the simple things in life.
Sounds nice, right? We think so too! That’s why we are digging deeper into the history of hygge, and how we can introduce a little more of it into our own lifestyles (especially as winter creeps a little closer our way.)
THE HISTORY OF HYGGE
Hygge isn’t a thing, a purchase, or an activity… It’s best described as a feeling. Its origin can be traced back to long, cold, dark Danish winters which were begging to be broken up by the joy of lighting a candle or cuddling up with hot cocoa and a book by a fireplace. The actual word first appeared in Danish literature in the early 1800s and today hygge is a defining aspect of Danish culture. In fact, it plays a big role in the fact the Danes are continuously ranked amongst the happiest countries on earth, despite such long, dark winters. In summary, hygge is a way of life, an awareness of “moments”, and the act of embracing simple acts and gestures.
HOW TO HYGGE
Let’s be clear: hygge is NOT a trend you buy into (although you might think differently when you see all the “hygge” accessories you can buy.) So rather than list a bunch of things you can put in your cart to bring the hygge lifestyle into your house, we are going to share some simple ideas of ways to embrace the Dane’s export of this “Feeling of coziness and contentment evoked by simple comforts”.
The best part? Hygge is free!
⇨ Make friends with candles. Danes burn more candles per capita than any country in the world, so no wonder this comes at the top of our hygge list. Make a ritual of lighting a couple of candles with dinner each night, or keep a candle in your cozy reading corner and light it every time you settle in for a good read. You’ll create your own little hygge atmosphere in no time.
⇨ Keep blankets handy. What could be cozier and more comforting than snuggling up under a blanket? Whether you’re watching a movie with your best friend, or just chilling out with a cup of tea, a knitted blanket is such a simple way to relax and embrace hygge.
⇨ Invite people over. But keep it simple! Hygge isn’t about preparing fancy meals, but rather enjoying the company of a few good friends, preferably around a fireplace with a board game and some snacks and some good old fashioned bone broth. Think more intimate gathering and less “dinner party.”
⇨ Create simple rituals. Prepare a cup of tea with real tea leaves in your favorite china mug each afternoon… Pick a flower from the garden to brighten up the dinner table… Put your coziest (read: cashmere) socks on after the shower in the evenings… In other words, make ordinary moments special.
⇨ Put your phone down. Phones mean news, work, and scrolling through images of other people’s lives. It should be no surprise then that they create an environment that’s the opposite of hygge. Find times in your day when the phone is away and you can be present in the moment.
While there are plenty of other things that would class as hygge (spending a day cooking your grandma’s chili recipe, staying under the covers on a Sunday morning with a warm cup of LonoLife Tomato Beef Bone Broth and watching Netflix, taking a walk in the woods on a cold winter day,) the point is this: slow down, appreciate the small things in life, and enjoy the feeling of contentment that follows. Ahhhhh.