What Is Hygge?
Hygge (pronounced ‘hooga’) is a lifestyle centred around wellbeing and mindfulness. It originates in Denmark and is all about living life slowly and enjoying each moment fully. The definition varies from person to person, but the core concepts of Hygge centre around relaxation and comfortable socialisation.
As Hygge is a whole lifestyle choice its incorporated into all social situations, as well as alone time or home life. While this is harder to achieve outside of the Nordic countries, it’s still very much something that can be incorporated into your daily life!
On the surface Hygge may just seem like candles and cozy blankets, and while they’re definitely a part of it Hygge is more complex than that. It’s about feeling connected to both your surroundings and yourself. Feeling comfortable whether you are, and forging genuine connections with people you care about. It’s pretty much the opposite of a fast paced lifestyle.
Set the ambiance for your surroundings. Mood lighting is the easiest way to create a sense of ambiance and warmth in your space. This can be done with candles, or with different types of lights.
Okay so I love candles, I typically have at least 4 in my room at any given time. What I’ve found with candles is that the quality of them is really important, once you’ve found a brand you like then stick to it. Personally I go for unscented soy candles as they’re affordable and burn without a bunch of gross fumes.
When it comes to electrical lighting fairy lights, led strip lights, or rock salt lamps are some great choices! Led strip lights are my personal favourite as you can change the colour of them, and they’re adhesive so can be stuck into walls. In my last flat I had them in my office around the skirting of the wall; turning them on at night totally changed the feel of a space.
Ambiance isn’t just set through light though, the smell of a room also plays a big role. Using an oil diffuser or burning incense or palto santo can also change the feel of your room.
Put Your Phone Down
Take a break from your phone. Trust me, I know it can be almost excruciating to not know what’s going on online at every moment. But stepping away from your phone and focusing on the moment is a wonderful way to de-stress. If you feel you can’t fight the temptation of looking at it then our your phone away in a drawer. Don’t forget to turn it off!
Once you’ve actually stepped away from it and are in the moment you’ll experience Hygge so much better. Who needs bluelight ruining the candle ambiance anyway?
Soft furnishings are key. Being warm and cozy is pretty much the entire selling point of Hygge! Start bringing out the throw blankets, soft cushions, and fluffy socks and get nice and cozy. Autumn and winter are the biggest times for Hygge, making is so much easier to achieve right now.
If you don’t already have some comfy throw blankets now is definitely the time to invest, relaxing when you’re tucked up in a blanket is essentially the essence of Hygge. If you’ve got a fireplace then light it, and if not just play one of those fireplace videos on YouTube. Sure, it might not provide the heat of the real thing but you still get to hear the crackling sounds. Plus you can just use a space heater to get warmer anyway!
Dressing warm and comfortably is a part of Hygge too. As your goal is to be comfortable and connected in all situations then your clothes make a definite impact. When you’re out in the cold make sure to wrap up in your favourite hat and scarf that not only make you warm but also look great.
Hang with Friends
Unlike a lot of other lifestyle choices Hygge isn’t so much of a solo venture. Spending time with friends in a relaxed manor and setting is a big part of hygee.
Typically I like lots of alone time, unless I’m extremely close to someone I quickly get exhausted with constantly being around others. However I can’t deny that spending an evening with friends having a movie night in a cozy home is a ton of fun. If you’re like me and don’t like lots of socialising then try it with a small group of people, that way you won’t get burnt out.
Hygge isn’t limited to the home though, you can go for a meal with people you care about, go on a short trip, or even just have a refreshing walk in nature. As long as you’re genuinely enjoying your time with others, focusing on the moment, and being present then you can’t go wrong!