The term Hygge has been thrown about quite a lot recently. Last year saw the publication of several books that talked about this subject, and the consumer sector has also jumped on the bandwagon. The word hygge (pronounce /hue- gah/) originates from Norwegian and was embraced by the Danes in the 1800s.
What is hygge?
Helen Russell, a writer and journalist who moved to Denmark in 2013, describes it as “the absence of anything annoying or emotionally overwhelming taking pleasure from the presence of gentle, soothing things”. Candlelight is hygge, bakeries are hygge, bike rides are hygge. It’s being cosy but at the same time it’s so much more than that.
What can you do to make your life more Hygge?
- Go to coffee shops
- Have candles
- And blankets
- Use nature indoors
- Get cosy
- Go outdoors more
- Join a club or society
- Spend time with loved ones
Origins of hygge
If you have ever travelled to Scandinavia in winter, you will know daytime is practically nonexistent. How, then, is it possible that Danes are the happiest country? This is where we show up consumerism. It’s not about having things, but about appreciating moments. It’s about spending time with family and friends, and investing in the community – thus, you end up with a happier society.
Miek Wiking, CEO of The Happiness Research Institute (the fact that there is a Happiness Research Institute is amazing) says that “studies show a clear link between gratitude and wellbeing. But another important thing to remember when it comes to understanding hygge is that it’s about experiences rather than stuff”.
And while there are a lot of differences in terms of laws (paid paternity leave, shorter working hours because leisure time is important) and customs (foraging for foliage to celebrate Yule) Danes appreciate the simple things: going for a coffee with a friend; staying in with a blanket, a book and candlelight; taking part in societies and hobbies. Doesn’t this sound like a great attitude to have? Rather than looking out and wanting what you don’t have, look inside and appreciate what you do have.
Think twice when buying something; can you live without a bigger TV if the one you already have is perfectly functional? If you want to spend your money, perhaps put it someplace where it’s needed. Learn to fix things, spend time with loved ones, take up a new activity and go outdoors more often.
How to be more hygge throughout the year
Here’s a quick run-down of our guides to being hygge throughout the seasons this year, check them out in full to learn more about what you can be getting up to in order to bring more hygge into your life
Feed the birds
Visit your local farmer’s market
Dry your clothes outside
Bring treats to work
Pick your own strawberries
Leave work on time
Go on a country break
Walks and drinks
Keep a blanket under your desk
Well will be sharing what hygge things you can do throughout the seasons this year both on the blog and on social media, so make sure you follow us on there! What are you going to do to have a more hygge year?