I’ve been blogging for awhile now but I don’t think a blogpost could sum me up better than the contents of this one. I only just recently discovered the meaning of ‘Hygge’ (pronounced ‘hoo-gah’ if you struggle with saying complex words like me) when I saw this book out on the table. It’s been hugely popular and I had to stop and ask a customer, why? What is this craze about Hygge? Now I’m halfway through this book and coming to understand it as well as incorporate it into my life. I love it.
SO, what on earth does it mean? There is no correct meaning, although there are various ways to describe it. To put it simply, as the Danish do, it means ‘to enjoy life’s simplest comforts’. To be comfortable. This book is a soul journey to achieving a warmer, cosier and appreciated life. Whether with friends, family or yourself. Hygge is the warm glow of candlelight. Hygge is the smell of food being cooked while you are snuggled up in your pyjamas. Hygge is the first sip of a cold beer on a hot night with your friends. Hygge is made up of so many different things and this book talks you through, chapter by chapter.
The author is Meik Wiking, from the Happiness Institute in Copenhagen, who researches what it takes to make people happy. What a job, right? The book is quite thick itself and comes with a beautiful cover. The contents and photography inside are even more so. It’s easily readable, fun and extremely quirky which is why I’ve fallen in love with not only the book, but the concept too. I think, living in Britain, we could learn a lot from the Danes. Which according to studies, Denmark is the happiest country in the world. The first time I sat down to read this book I felt compelled to create an atmosphere of Hygge, I made a cup of tea and wrapped myself up in blankets!
The book says that the best time to experience Hygge is at Autumn / Winter time. Especially Christmas, which is a huge factor. The lights, gifts, festivities, smells, atmosphere. It’s Hygge-heaven. However, the feeling of Hygge (I feel like I’m saying this word too much but it makes me laugh when I do, HOOGAH HOOGAH HOOGAH) can be experience at any time, any where. Many people feel it to be more real when they’re outdoors or in cosy pubs. Here are a few simple ways to incorporate this feeling into your life…
An obvious but extremely overlooked one. Light is one of our happiness triggers (I didn’t know this until I read this book) and candle light is one of the most relaxing you could endure. The Danes say they light at least FIVE each DAY to feel more Hygge. It makes those dark nights more magical and alluring.
Another simple pleasure is food. To indulge yourself in whatever you like, it’s about treating yourself and not being bothered by slightly overdoing it one day. It’s not just eating food either, it’s making it too. This book contains different recipes for you to enjoy making in the comfort of home.
After food comes the drinks. Alcoholic if that’s your preference, but the Danes number one essential to the feeling of Hygge is a hot drink. Whether that be a cinnamon spiced latte or a simplistic hot chocolate (with a shed ton of whipped cream)! So flick the kettle on and snuggle up by the fire.
Said to be the most Hyggelig (they even have a terminology dictionary at the back of the book) time of the year. To me, Christmas is a state of mind, not a materialistic holiday. The build up is my favourite part. The weather is colder, more chocolate is consumed, roast dinners are a tradition and buying gifts to eagerly await peoples reaction is all part of the fun.
Get your favourite book out and re-read it. Buy a new book and devour it. Make yourself comfortable with pillows and duvets. There is no more relaxing feeling than reading a book by candlelight. It’s indescribable what it does for your well-being!
Is there ANYTHING cosier than being indoors all snug while the heavens have opened outside?! I love the sound of rain and seeing it fall. Just not when I’m out in it. Embrace it!
If there is an opposite to Hygge, it would be scrolling through Facebook mindlessly for hours. It’s not fun and it’s not stimulating. You have to know when to switch social media off and switch yo’ Hygge on. The lighting from your PC or phone is damaging for your eyes and skin after too long. Put it away, relax. You can check it tomorrow. Go hang with friends or do alternative activities.
This basically means ALL the pillows and ALL the blankets. Yes. What you make of your home is the atmosphere you live in. This is legit the best reason to splash out on homeware, ever. Don’t forget your candles to, light those babies while you’re in the bath.
Could a chapter of a book be any more me? Lord of the Rings and Pyjamas. Win Win. I love the humorous and witty sides this book has too.
(look at those cinnamon swirls, ugh)
All the time while reading this book, I am convinced that my life has already many aspects of Hygge. As someone who’s always appreciated the comforts of home growing up, I really love how it is a way of life to other people, which you can experience anywhere; not just home. Everyday I have a cup of tea and read parts of my books, it’s human nature to me. It depends on my mood just how Hoo-Gah I am that day. Sometimes I’ll put off going into certain places because the lighting is way too harsh! Just me?
If you are new to this and feel you need Hygge in your life I highly recommend you pick up a copy of this little book. It’s full of lovely little idea’s and quirky tips.