I’ve read quite a bit about ‘hygge’ lately. I’m not sure exactly how you pronounce the word…or even spell it , but I think it’s pronounced ‘hue-gah’. However, to quote my favourite philosopher Winnie-the -Pooh, when asked how to spell a certain emotion, ‘You don’t spell it, you feel it.’
Spelling and pronouncing hygge is probably the easy part. Explaining what it is is perhaps a bit more tricky! I think the easiest way to explain it is by suggesting you think about all the cosy, ‘feel good’ things in life – the small but important things we crave, especially this time of year. I have heard it described as ‘cosiness of the soul’ ‘soothing times’ or ‘hot chocolate by candlelight.’ Whatever it is, I like it!
The word ‘hygge’ originates in Norway, and means ‘well-being’.
To elaborate a bit, hygge is a sense of coming together with loved ones, revelling in simple pleasures and sharing comfort food in front of the fire. Hygge isn’t about buying stuff, whatever the retailers want us to think. You don’t need to spend money to create a sense of hygge. Wrapping up in a warm, snuggly jumper and going for a walk can be hygge, as can catching up with a friend over coffee. It’s about feelings, not possessions. It’s about being kind to yourself and others.
Curl up in PJ’s and a warm blanket and read a book
Light a scented candle
Stop trying to multi-task – turn off the phone and focus on the moment
Bake some gooey brownies
Send a loved one a letter
Soak in a bath with some scented oils
Explore the outdoors
Walk someone’s dog, (or yours!)
Turn on some fairy lights in the fading afternoon light….
We don’t need an excuse for hygge either, and we can even use it at work. Create a little space on your desk for a candle, for a photo or a plant that is pleasing to the eye, or invest in a Himalayan salt lamp (if the boss allows obviously!).
There is a lot of hygge in Denmark, said to be one of the happiest countries in the world. I guess they have their problems and issues like every other country, but they seem to have a positive outlook, and even have a Happiness Research Institute. It is worth noting that Danish people are the ones who meet up with their families and friends the most often, and feel the most calmest and the most peaceful.
Ok, Ok I know I have gone over the top a bit but I think you get my drift. This time of year, especially on a grey, misty and murky day like today, we all need a bit of hygge. While fashions come and go, hygge is one trend that I think is very much worth indulging in.
Here was my bit of hygge today. If in doubt….bake!