If you spend any time online, you’re likely to have seen “hygge” being talked about and are surely wondering what exactly this means (and how to pronounce it). We’ve got you covered with our beginner’s guide to the Danish lifestyle trend sweeping the internet.
What is it?
To start off, it’s pronounced something like “hoo-ga” and the closest English translation is “cosiness”. It’s basically all about creating a pleasant, comforting atmosphere, at home and beyond.
The run-up to Christmas time often sees us more stressed than ever as we buy presents, organise the dinner, stick to a budget and try to get all our work done before the break. It’s easy to forget that there’s so much to enjoy about autumn and winter – long walks on crisp Sundays, cuddling up with a blanket and tea to watch a good film, candles and festive treats. Hygge is all about embracing these things and creating small joys in life.
Danish people are often cited as some of the happiest people in the world, so maybe they’re on to something here. Their winters are long, dark and cold, but unlike us they don’t let that get them down and they really make the most of the winter months.
How can you embrace hygge?
There are loads of books hitting the shelves this year which go in-depth about hygge and provide lots of ideas for achieving that cosiness, so if you want to dive right in you should pick one up for a wealth of information. If you just want to dip your toe in the craze, here’s some easy things to try:
- Candles – Danes burn more candles per head than any other country in the world, so it’s not surprise that they’re a key element of hygge. Are you one of those people who never actually burns them but just keeps them out “for show”? Well, it’s time to change and get those candles lit. Enjoy the scents filling your home and that gorgeous glow that beats a halogen light any day. Light a candle at dinner or while watching TV at night – it instantly adds a warm, cosy feeling to your evening.
- Family time – Quality time with friends and family is a vital component to hygge because what better way to lift your mood than by surrounding yourself with people you love? Get dressed up and head out for a date night, take the kids to the cinema or visit your grandparents. It doesn’t matter what you do as long as the company is great and you’re all really focusing on your time together, so that means putting the phones away!
- Good food – The Danes love their signature pastries, and a hearty dinner with a nice glass of wine is one of their favourite hygge-inducing activities. Ditch the ready meals for a night and cook your favourite warming dinner like a stew or lasagne and savour the time spent eating it. Set the table nicely and have a good chat about your day – it’s a simple way to make you feel really content.
- Layer up – Buy a new woolly hat that you love, or one of those huge blanket scarves. Add a comfy coat and you’ll feel cosy and stylish on your commute, helping to set you up for the day ahead. When at home, throw on your favourite oversized jumper, fluffy socks and get under a luxurious blanket. You’ll instantly feel warmer and more relaxed.
These little things all add up to reduce stress and make you feel happier and more positive. The simple pleasure of sipping a hot latte while cuddling your dog can go a long way in making your life that bit sweeter, so find your little pick-me-ups and get ready for the cosiest winter you’ve ever had.