When I moved into my new home, I wanted to create a warm and inviting space for my family and friends. We want our space to be serene and free of clutter. A home that is happy and calm, and allows one to feel comforted and cosy at the end of the day.
This need for a beautiful and safe space is what led me to discover the practice of hygge. Let’s explore the reasons as to why I have fallen in love with this concept and way of life. I hope you find value in it, and that it makes you as happy as it makes me!
What exactly is Hygge?
Pronounced “hoo-gah”, this is a Danish concept that defines the feeling of the cosiness of the soul. It is the pursuit of intimacy and the art of everyday happiness. From home-cooked meals to candlelit conversations, snuggling among fluffy blankets and warm cocoa. It is being surrounded by nature on a family picnic and relaxing on your favourite chair with a good book. This is the heart of hygge and in my opinion, what every person longs for on a soul level.
There are 5 main features of hygge:
- Comfort – the start of making a hygge memory is to fill the space with things that one finds soothing. This can be spending Christmas day with close family and friends, sitting by the fire with mulled wine, dressed in warm clothes and cosy socks. Hygge doesn’t necessarily need to be in a cold environment – we can find the same comfort on a blanket on the grass in a garden, soft pillows scattered around as you are singing songs with your loved ones.
- Companionship – sitting on the couch with a good book and a cup of tea is wonderful, but it is twice as hygge if shared with someone you love. Small gatherings are important and hygge emphasises creating intimacy.
- Relaxation – hygge doesn’t only take place when sitting still, but can also be found in a leisurely stroll in the woods, hand-in-hand with someone you love. To be in an unhurried state is a key part of creating hygge. Take a stroll before settling down for a candlelit dinner. Lie underneath a starry night with a warm blanket before bedtime. Take your time and savour each special moment of happiness.
- Connection to nature – hygge can take place indoors, but there is also a lot to be found in embracing the outdoors. Living a hygge way of life means embracing the sounds of nature, the sights and the smells. Embrace the freshness of the rain after a storm and even allow yourself to walk in the rain. The hygge lifestyle also embraces cooking with fresh ingredients such as herbs and veggies. Place flowers around your home and light soft candles. Dry your clothes on the washing line to soak up the sunshine instead of using the tumble dryer.
- Simplicity – hygge genuinely takes life back to simple pleasures. It is the ability to be in the present moment and feel unequivocal joy for those moments. Hygge is in the moment of sitting by an open window, drinking coffee in your bathrobe and listening to the birds singing.
The need for hygge is a need to return from modern life
I think the reason why people have taken so fondly to the concept of hygge is because it is something so lost in our modern world. We rush to work, grab a cup of coffee, and procrastinate on Facebook (how wrong do these things feel after submersing yourself in reading about hygge?). There is no unhurried pace or stopping to feel the moment. There is a lack of family time in which we play board games and belly-laugh. We have forgotten what it feels like to feel the warmth of a crackling fire, the smell of a thunderstorm, the feeling of being curled in a blanket next to your husband reading a novel.
Let’s get back to basics and embrace the hygge lifestyle. In my next article, I will share the ways in which we can make our home more hygge.
Lots of (candle) light and love!