During a recent flight I was reading a supplement from a newspaper and found an interesting article on hygge (pronounced ‘hue-gah’), the Danish art of living well. Immediately I was intrigued, not heard of hygge before, and after reading the article I decided to order a book and find out more.
Hygge is a quality of presence and an experience of togetherness. It is a feeling of being warm, safe, comforted and sheltered. Hygge is an experience of selfhood and communion with people and places that anchors and affirms us, gives us courage and consolation. To hygge is to invite intimacy and connection. It’s a feeling of engagement and relatedness, of belonging to the moment and to each other. Hygge is a sense of abundance and contentment. Hygge is about being not having.
Taken from ‘the book of hygge by Louisa Thomsen Brits
All sounds pretty much perfect and something all of us can take something from. With the seasons changing, hygge fits in perfectly with the Autumn mood, spending more time at home and then there’s the run up to Christmas that, for many, is about gathering with friends and family, enjoying evenings at home relaxing on the sofa, candles and enjoying comfort foods. Basically, the simple things. Hygge is about taking things back to the basics.
I’m totally up for embracing hygge and here are some of the ways I’m going to introduce it into my life:
Candles… this seems to be a key element. I’m a big fan of candles so this isn’t going to be a problem! With the daylight fading earlier, now is the perfect time to light a candle and relax. Candles provide the most delightful, relaxing atmosphere.
Create comfort… when you’re comfortable, you relax and that’s what hygge is all about. My husband will not be happy, but this is a good reason to invest in some more cushions and a another snuggly throw for the sofa.
Celebrate the simple things… enjoy a slice of cake, hug a warm cup of tea, take time out to relax and enjoy the moment. I’m guilty of making myself too busy at times, so the idea of taking time away from the craziness sounds very appealing. Rainy day? Enjoy the opportunity to be at home with loved ones. Last weekend we spent Saturday afternoon snuggled on the sofa watching a film with popcorn, totally by choice… the world can wait a few hours! We are a busy family, hubby and I are both self employed, we have a 5 year old little lady who is full of energy, a dog and a cat… all of these things make the average week incredibly busy. Weekends now will have two hours of down time, where we will enjoy something simple.
Be with your people… invite your friends over, light some candles and enjoy a bite to eat together. Spending time with good friends and family is like therapy. We are who we surround ourselves with.
There’s so much more to hygge, but this is a great starting point. For me, I’m simplifying and embracing Autumn and that means cooking more comfort foods, creating a relaxing environment at home and enjoying moments of contentment… this may take some practice, but i’m up for the challenge!
Do you like the idea of hygge… does it sound like something you can incorporate into your life?