Surely Hygge must be the word of the year. If you haven’t been privy to the hype of hygge yet, I’m going to start with something really simple. The pronunciation! At the start of the year I was calling it all sorts. The best way I can describe the pronunciation is HOO-GAH. That’s the hard bit done!
What is Hygge?
Hygge is a Scandi term, with the Danes embracing it the most. There’s no direct translation to English. Some keywords used are cosiness, warmth, happiness, relaxation, and well-being. And my favourite contentment.
Hygge is an attitude and a feeling. It’s all about enjoying good things with good people. Hygge creates a warm atmosphere that warms the soul.
It’s used in all aspects of life, including our home, family & friends and our own health & happiness. It’s about living in the moment and enjoying the simple pleasures.
Hygge is most practised at Christmas time. The evenings are dark, cold and can sometimes feel endless. So creating this connection with your happiness at home can make Winter feel wonderful.
7 Ways to Hygge at Home
Intentional Interior Design
Choose each piece of furniture or accessories because it has a true purpose or you love it. Discard anything you no longer love or doesn’t work anymore. Add cosy blankets and scatter cushions to create warmth. Hygge works best in small spaces. If your interior is open plan make it cosier by adding a rug to your seating area. this will create a comfy zone in a larger space.
Dawdle at Dinner
I think most of us steam through dinner and swipe away the plates as soon as the last bite is taken. Hygge is about taking our time with dinner. We should savour our food, enjoy the taste and appreciate the effort that’s gone into the meal. Even if you’re the chef!
It’s not about fancy dinner parties. Hygge dining should be a casual affair with the people that you love. Try a big pot of stew in the middle of the table and let everyone serve themselves.
As soon as darkness appears the Danes light lots of candles. It creates a warm, homely atmosphere. Try turning down the lights and enjoying a family meal by candlelight.
It’s important we all have quality time with our family & friends, pets and by ourselves. When you’re with your loved ones switch off from outside thoughts, your phone and any other distractions. Enjoy their company, in that moment. When everyone else is busy or gone to bed take time for yourself. Enjoy the quietness or read a chapter of your book. All the other jobs you have to do can wait for a half an hour.
A simple way to create a happy home is to surround yourself with things that you love, ignite happy memories or help you feel cosy and comfortable. Invest in a fluffy pair of slippers, snuggle up on the sofa surrounded by photos of friends and family.
An integral part of a hygge lifestyle is enjoying hot drinks. It may sound too simple but enjoying a tea, coffee, hot chocolate, mulled wine (even an Irish coffee if that’s how you roll) will warm you from the inside out. Savour every sip!
Quality over Quantity
The Danes are renowned for their high quality, well designed furniture. They prefer to save for a high-end piece of furniture rather that constantly replace cheap pieces. It can feel safe and cosy to curl up on a quality sofa.
I’m a true believer in hygge. I just never knew that’s what it was called! Himself has no patience when I’m still eating my dinner an hour after he’s finished his food. Or when I take 57 hours to drink a cup of tea. I don’t like to be rushed! I want to enjoy all the little things that make me happy.
It may seem daunting to ignore everything around you when your having a cuppa. Start with small, simple rituals. Stay seated for 5 mins after dinner, don’t pick up your phone when you’re talking to someone. Just enjoy the moment!
Also check out How To Create A Mindful Home.