Happy December Lovelies! We are now officially at the start of the holidays and the festivities are on the way. But before we get into the hustle bustle of the season, why not slide into it gently and unwind with some help from the Danish tradition of Hygge.
What is that you may ask! Well actually, there is no literal translation of the Nordic word. However, Hygge can be described as a “huge hug” of coziness, a feeling of warmth, a state of familiarity and nurturing, the comforts of home and simple pleasures. It is simply a way of life rooted in a belief system hailing from Danemark but has taken up host of devotees and followers worldwide.
With books, workshops, interior decor stores, coffee shops, and even meet up groups, the #Hygge lifestyle has proven to be an adaptable practice that can be easily adopted by anyone and anywhere. So I wondered, how can I get started on my new journey to Hygge, but interestingly it didn’t feel so unfamiliar, as I have always loved coziness and all that it encompasses.
Being that I live in Paris, I came to realize that our environment greatly impacts our inner world. Danemark is statistically rated as the happiest country on earth. So it is important to understand that the Hygge lifestyle, although flexible and adaptable, is still a result of specific social, political and economical factors as well.
Owing to these circumstances, I suggest not thinking that adopting these new habits will turn you into Pollyanna, for depending on your country, environment and lifestyle the imprint of your Hygge experience will vary.
However, what matters most is your inner being because at its core, Hygge is a mindset. Based on the Danish values of family, equality, community and simplicity, first and foremost about finding the gems in the present moment and enjoying the good things in life with the people you love.
Here are a few simple steps you can try out to bring a bit of warmth, simple pleasures and coziness to your home or if you just want to incorporate a cozy nesting ritual, on your own time- it’s all possible!
Here are the fundamental Hygge elements:
1. candles or a fireplace (or both)
A warm fire or candlelight atmosphere is the founding staple of any cozy lifestyle. It is reminiscent of the hearth which has always been the central point of any traditional home from time immemorial. Today, lighting candles or a fireplace, add the perfect ambiance of warmth which is the signature of the Hygge lifestyle.
My favorite way of incorporating this is using my favorite scented candles from Dyptique. I also enjoy visiting restaurants like the Villa Hoche in Paris that have a cozy fireplace and simply enjoy the warm and luxurious atmosphere.
2. cozy pajamas and comfy bedding
There is nothing better than warm comfy pjs! As you feather your nest, add cozy elements and unwind in a fluffy bed adorned in the softest sheets and comfiest blankets. As you relax in your home turned haven, why not look good and feel good by choosing lovely patters and textures such as cashmere, wool, satin or silk for your pjs and bedding – even better if they’re in traditional patterns like plaid or tartan.
3. delicious warm drinks
Make yourself a nice pot of tea like my fav chai tea and add some cinnamon sticks and even a piece of lime for added zest. Hot chocolate with added marshmallows and nutmeg are another favorite. You can also use your imagination to create different warm beverages to cozy up the Hygge way. For example coffee with some chocolate powder topped with whipped cream and sprinkles. You can also add a cute cup warmer made of yarn or cotton. Enjoy!
4. a good book
As you cultivate the simple joys of life, indulge in a great read. Fantasy novels, autobiographies and even self-help books are a wonderful addition to your Hygge experience. The point is to make life as simple yet charming as possible. As you escape through the narratives of your book, under a warm blanket, you actively take time away from the distractions and stressors of your day. It’s about creating a haven of peace and serenity, where you can cultivate peace and happiness.
5. good company: good times
Part of the Hygge lifestyle is based on the Danish values of family, community and togetherness. No wonder such values are implemented in a country where there are only 4 hours of daylight and with glacial temperatures below 0° most of the year. It’s fundamental, even vital to create strong bonds and nurture them. That is why the Hygge lifestyle encourages coming together around a good hearty meal, playing board games, taking off social media and truly engaging with others.
If you’re like me (an expat away from family) you can still plan a fun evening. Either join a meetup, connect with colleagues, with your significant other and friends and tell them about your new cozy philosophy. Get together around a table of comfort foods, warm drinks, board games and creative activities! Try knitting, drawing, playing an instrument or even writing and reading poetry. Whatever gets you closer to others and put down your guard for a while.
As you aim to see the value in the little things, precious moments will be cherished. So in the end, just spread love. It’s the Hygge way!
For more information on the Hygge lifestyle you can research tons ressources online. I definitely recommend this awesome website which shares everything about the Hygge state of being. Also the little book of Hygge by Meik Wiking in which dthe happiness guru sharing the secrets to being consciously cozy. Another staple of the Danish cozy revolution, is the book by author Helen Russel, called A year of living Danishly.
Hope you all enjoyed this article and will incorporate some of these values from the world’s happiest country and add a little warmth and joy to your life. Here is a Hygge planner to get you started and a 7 day challenge below for added inspo!
Happy Hygge and thanks so much for stopping by!
Disclaimer: All photos are taken from Pinterest.com