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Snuggling under a blanket while reading a good book or doing a puzzle with candles in the background is hygge. (Image: Rebecca Mongrain/Seattle Refined)

This Year, Embrace the Hygge Lifestyle

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:

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.

  1. Create a cozy atmosphere. Pile on the blankets and pillows. Put on your plush slippers and warm socks.
  2. Stock up the candles. Dim the lights and light candles for a calming glow.
  3. Put your phone away and be present.
  4. Relax. Take a break with a book or your knitting.
  5. Focus on relationships. Linger over conversations and build friendships. Make your home a place where friends and family feel comfortable.