Hygge. It’s been around for some time now. When I hear the word I think of cold weather and roaring fires. I feel cosy and warm and safe. So being November it’s the perfect time of the year to start practising Hygge.
Last christmas my Mother in law bought us a book on Hygge. It was great to read in front of the fire at New Year. Unfortunately life got in the way and the book went on the shelf unfinished. Reaching down for it recently I decided this would be the best place to start my learning.
So What is Hygge?
Wikipedia defines hygge as follows:
A Danish and Norwegian word for a mood of coziness and comfortable conviviality with feelings of wellness and contentment
It’s taken the UK by storm recently. With everyone trying to live in the moment and be more appreciative of their surroundings, hygge fits perfectly into this idealism. The idea of being able to have a word for that cozy feeling sits well with us brits, especially as we go into the colder months.
How do you Hygge?
A lot of people will tell you that the key to hygge is blankets, candles, fairy lights and hot chocolate. For a lot of us, this would give us this cozy feeling which we are aiming for. But it doesn’t mean this is what you MUST have to achieve the feeling. Basically, hygge is about having the feeling, not what gives you the feeling. So find what makes you feel cozy, happy and warm inside. If you have done the candles, cushions, blankets and lights and you’re not getting that feeling, then you’ve missed the point.
Can you plan it?
In a word: No! One of the points of Hygge is that it is a special feeling in a special moment. Yes, you can create an atmosphere which will encourage that feeling to arise, but you can’t force it. This is often where us Brits fall down. We say to ourselves that we are going to have some hygge time tomorrow or this evening. Then we get annoyed when we don’t feel it. Hygge is not about scheduling it into your life.
OK, so how do I encourage it?
As I mentioned already, it’s about creating an atmosphere that makes you personally feel safe and relaxed. Most of us will turn to the blankets, candles and fairy lights. But don’t forget things like House plants. Bringing a bit of nature into your home can be very pleasing. Also think about what you are eating and drinking. Us Brits love home cooked food! As the months get colder and the evenings get darker, how about some warming food such as a beef stew with a big glass of red wine to get that hygge feeling? If you’ve been out in the cold for a while, coming home to a hot chocolate under a cosy blanket can really feel comforting.
How I Hygge
I often get my hygge on in the bath. Recently I redecorated my bathroom, adding lots of plants and some candles. When I have a bath I use products which have relaxing, herbal scents and light the candles. I dim the lights and play some calming meditative music. I read a book and feel utterly relaxed, cosy and comfortable. Lush!
Now, go forth and find your hygge!