Hygge seems to be everyone’s favourite buzzword right now. But what on earth is it and why do so many people think it’s the key to happiness? Hygge (pronounced HOO-GAH) is about atmosphere and experience rather than things. Hygge is all those things about autumn that we love. Walks in the woods crunching on the golden leaves, wrapping up in a blanket to watch a film or read a book, watching a storm rave outside while your cosy and warm indoors, lighting the fire, long hot baths and eating comfort food. It turns out everything I love about autumn is related to Hygge. Hygge is a warm, pleasant and comfortable atmosphere, a feeling of being cosy and safe void of annoyance and distraction. It’s about enjoying the little things in life and being in the moment. Hygge is taking 10 minutes to enjoy a cup of tea, or spending an hour in the bath or an evening with friends eating good food. I’ve just finished reading The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking and I’m feeling motivated to embrace Hygge, even more, this autumn/winter. One of the best things about Hygge is because it’s about a feeling and creating atmosphere, it really doesn’t require you to spend any money and it’s easy to start embracing.
So how can we all create a little more Hygge in our lives?
There is something so comforting and relaxing about candle light no wonder 85% of Danes association Hygge with candles. This also has to be one of the easiest things you can do to create a little atmosphere in you home. You don’t need fancy, expensive candles as it’s about the subtle light and atmosphere, not fancy scents. Grab as money candles as you can and light them around the room. Lamps are another way to create atmosphere through lighting, leave the big light off and turn on a few lamps around the room. Along with the candles, the lamps with give off more subtle light creating a more pleasant environment.
Hygge is about being comfortable and relaxed so change out of your uncomfortable work clothes as soon as you get home. For the ultimate Hygge wear your cosiest pyjamas and throw your hair in a top knot. You don’t have to dress up to embrace Hygge, in fact dressing down is better. You should be completely comfortable in what you are wearing and able to relax probably in your clothes. This isn’t about looking stylish or keeping up with trends, it’s about being comfortable and relaxed.
Connect With Nature
Get wrapped up and go for a walk in the countryside or head to the beach for some sea air. Being outdoors and feeling connected with nature brings a feeling Hygge. Leave your phone and electronics at home and enjoy being present in the moment. Listen to the leaves crunching underfoot as you walk through the woods and watch the leaves blow in the wind. If the weather’s bad just enjoy sitting indoors watching the rain on the window or listening to the wind howling around while you are safe and warm indoors.
Blankets & Cushions
Try adding a few more blankets and cushions to your home. Keep blankets out on the sofa instead of storing them away in the cupboard. Wrapping yourself up in a blanket is such a comforting and cosy experience so make sure you have plenty around the house. Add cushions to your sofa to make it even more comfortable and inviting. Try adding more tactile textures to your home with wood, wool blankets, ceramics and leather.
Food & Drink
Hygge is about good old fashion comfort food, not fancy gourmet dinners. Think about the stews and casseroles your granny used to make. Embrace you slow cooker and enjoy simple one pot meals. Getting busy baking cakes and pastries. Hygge needs a good hot drink to add to that cosy feeling. Brew some quality coffee or tea or make yourself and indulgent hot chocolate (cream and marshmallows are a must).
Films & Books
Wrap up under your blanket with a hot drink and comfort food to watch your favourite film or read a good book. Hygge is about enjoying the simple things in life so embrace any opportunity to read a good book or watch you favourite film. Enjoy watching a good TV programme or boxset.
If you are lucky enough to have a fireplace in your home, make sure you light it as often as possible. Not only will it help keep you warm it helps create the perfect Hygge atmosphere. There is something so cosy and relaxing about sitting around the fire. If you don’t have a fireplace, get yourself a firepit for the garden and sit around the fire outdoors. Take a couple of blankets outside and toast marshmallows over the fire.
Friends and Family
Hygge can be enjoyed alone when reading your favourite book or enjoying a long hot bath but it can also by enjoyed surrounded by friends and family. You don’t want too many people around that you feel uncomfortable but enough that you can enjoy their company and relax around them Try inviting a couple of friends around for a movie night or play board games together or just sit by the fire together.