Have you heard of the Danish term, Hygge? It’s the word for a cozy, warm lifestyle with a focus on being happy and well. Pronounced “HOO-gah”, hygge is embraced throughout Denmark as one way to combat the long, dark winters while enjoying the simplicity of small everyday moments.
Living hygge can be as simple as curling up under a duvet with a cup of tea and a good book. Hygge is also gathering with friends for a simple meal and great conversation or lingering to enjoy conversation with friends and family. Most importantly, hygge starts at home with cozy surroundings, a welcoming feeling and lots of candles.
Hygge is taking over the American mindset as winter sets in. Hygge shines at this time of the year with warm blankets, flicking candles, sheepskin slippers, hot drinks and fireplaces. Hygge is also all about slowing down and enjoying oneself which is something everyone can benefit from. Crafting a hygge home is actually quite simple and provides a place to recenter and relax.
2016 saw an abundance of books about hygge published both here and in the U.K. - and it's not slowing down this year. These new releases are great guides to embracing the hygge lifestyle. A few favorites include:
- hygge: The Danish Art of Happiness by Marie Tourell Soderberg which includes everything from tips on bringing hygge to your home, recipes and what hygge means.
- The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living by Meik Wiking comes out in early January and explores how to embrace hygge. "Hygge is about an atmosphere and an experience," Author Meik Wiking explains. "It is about being with the people we love. A feeling of home. A feeling that we are safe.”
- How to Hygge: The Nordic Secrets to a Happy Life by Signe Johansen also comes out in early January and shares Johansen’s how-to guide to hygge with a combination of recipes, ips for cozy living at home, and essential elements of living the Danish way.
- Local blogger, LuLu the Baker has a book out called, Scandinavian Gatherings: From Afternoon Fika to Midsummer Feast: 70 Simple Recipes & Crafts for Everyday Celebrations packed full of ways to celebrate the hygge life.
Bringing hygge into your life is easy. It’s more about the mindset than things though a pile of blankets, great smelling candles and books go a long way toward embracing the hygge lifestyle.
Here are five tips to bring hygge into your life.
- Create a cozy atmosphere. Pile on the blankets and pillows. Put on your plush slippers and warm socks.
- Stock up the candles. Dim the lights and light candles for a calming glow.
- Put your phone away and be present.
- Relax. Take a break with a book or your knitting.
- Focus on relationships. Linger over conversations and build friendships. Make your home a place where friends and family feel comfortable.