To hygge or not to hygge? For most people, the answer is definitely to hygge. The word, pronounced “hoo-gah,” is a Danish word that approximately translates to “coziness.” The word alone is enough to conjure images of comfort: steaming hot mugs of your favorite beverage, the warm light of a candle illuminating a dim room, the soft glow of the television flickering in the background, and the sumptuous cozy feel of a plush throw blanket.
The concept of hygge caught on like wildfire around the world, largely when the fine art of self-care grew in popularity. Although the principles of rest and relaxation haven’t changed, their importance in the modern world definitely has evolved with time. Faster-paced lifestyles have made it increasingly difficult to find quality time to disconnect from the outside world. Through hygge, however, it’s entirely possible to transform your life and enjoy greater peace of mind even when things get a little bit crazy.
Truly tapping into the spirit of hygge and making it a concept that you live and abide by doesn’t take much time, but you might take some inspiration from the earliest habits adopted by the Danes. Legend has it that the word originated not in Denmark, but in ancient Norway. It loosely translated to “wellbeing” there, so the general idea behind hygge hasn't changed much with time. Here’s a little look at this transformative practice.
There’s a sense that “coziness” is generally more of a winter term. It certainly makes sense, since you’re naturally drawn to fuzzy fabrics and hot drinks during those brisk, often unbearably cold days. But can you actually find joy in the hygge way of life when the sun is beating down on you and all you really want to do is run inside and sit in front of the air conditioner with ice-cold water?
Of course. Summer is one of the best times of the year to embrace that spirit! Throw on a lightweight T-shirt dress to start, since comfort means everything when you want to relax and unwind. Light fabrics are ideal because they gently brush against your skin and won’t limit your movement. Anything that feels airy and soft is perfect. Then consider your agenda. Summer is prime time for all kinds of enjoyable, hygge-friendly activities, like picnics, strolls on the boardwalk, or visits to the lake. Whether you’re with friends or going solo, you’ll love how revived you feel when you take the time to take care of you. And, yes, that ice-cold beverage is a part of living a good hygge life.
During fall and winter, hygge is all about bringing balance. These seasons are naturally darker and colder, which means you’re likely to crave more comfort. What’s great about these months is that it’s just plain simple to immerse yourself in the glorious hygge lifestyle without much effort at all. Thick and nubby cold-weather accessories, like scarves and hats, help you feel more grounded and settled when you’re shivering as you walk through a bustling Christmas market or play in the snow with the family. You’re comfortable and doing something you love; in other words, it’s the ultimate hygge moment.
It’s also a great time of year to whip up some tasty recipes. Experiment with the baked goods you always swear you’ll make during the holiday season. Sip some mulled wine. Enjoy a seasonal cocktail. It’s all perfect for indulging, which is undoubtedly one of the most important parts of living authentically and tapping into your Scandinavian side.
Home is where the heart is, they say, and it’s also where your hygge vibes are the strongest. You can surround yourself with inviting elements that evoke beauty, nourishment, relaxation, and wellness all at once. You’ll find easy ways to implement this type of design strategy throughout your home. Place a throw blanket on your couch. Try an inviting area rug in the entryway. Invest in a pair of fluffy slippers. Wear your most comfortable flannel pajamas or your beloved college sweatshirt while you laze on the couch binge-watching your latest favorite.
Lighting also plays a major role in creating a hygge-friendly atmosphere. If you enjoy general dimness, then the soft glow of candlelight alone may be all that you need to feel even greater relaxation. Create a layered lighting plan throughout your home so that you can flood the space in brightness if you prefer. Spend quality time with the ones you love the most, sharing in experiences that bring you together and help you create beautiful memories. At the heart of it all, hygge is about improving your lifestyle in as many ways as possible.