Hygge, pronounced hue·guh, is the soul of the Danish culture. The term ‘hygge’ is unlike any other and defines a feeling and atmosphere more than any one thing. “While there’s no one English word or simple definition to describe hygge, several can be used interchangeably to describe the idea of hygge such as coziness, charm, happiness, ‘contentness,’ security, familiarity, comfort, reassurance, kinship, and simpleness.” – HyggeHouse.com
1. IN GENERAL | Bringing a little hygge into your life is easier than you think. It’s all about a serene, positive, and comfortable atmosphere. In turn, you will also develop a serene, positive and comfortable sense of self. While Hygge is most often associated with company, creating a hygge mindset will naturally spread to your environment and association.
- Put away your phone. | This is a no brainer and in no way isolated to the art of Hygge. The thing is, when your phone or device is not on your person or within arms-reach, your mind can focus on what you are doing. Your mind will be without the distraction we have all too easily become addicted to.
- Back to basics. | Before you plan your day, make an effort to choose simple, back to basics activities. When you wake up and feel like feeding your mind, ditch the phone and pick up a book. When you feel like a snack, avoid store-bought and whip up a simple recipe. If you want to get out of the house, stroll your neighbourhood or local green space. You won’t believe how enjoyable the day can be when you make things simple. In other words, don’t forget to stop and smell the flowers.
2. PERSONALLY | Let the simple, serene focus and flow continue on through to your person. Look for ways to bring Hygge into your bedroom or home office, your wardrobe, and your self-value. Live with a focus on all that is wholly good and genuine.
- Ambient lighting. | Ambient lighting is hygge 101. Find a way to integrate candles, regular or battery, fairy lights, and dimmers around your home. Light in itself will create a mood of comfort and warmth that quickly spreads to your mood. Find yourself at peace and positive with the flicker of a flame.
- Simple and soothing. | Avoid anything harsh in tone when it comes to your home, wardrobe or look. Find colours that suit your skin tone and make you feel beautiful the way you are. Minimize the make-up and accessories, let your inner and outer beauty shine in its natural form. You may feel uncomfortable at first, but there is a beautiful sense of worth and happiness that come with feeling comfortable with yourself.
3. INTRAPERSONALLY | This is what hygge is all about – people! While Hygge can be enjoyed on your own, it’s true definition blossoms in the presence of friends and family (family is the next point, so we will focus on friends). Hygge is also built on the value and comfort of enjoying your friends for who they are. Their simple presence and interchange should be enough to make you feel whole.
- Find and nourish true friends. | For Hygge to bloom in full force, you must feel comfortable and at ease. Surround yourself with friends who know you and like you the way you are, don’t forget to return the favour. A few true friends are far more valuable than a dozen acquaintances you can’t quite be yourself around. With true friends, you can sit around sipping coffee and feel as though your life is sincerely full.
- Create a hygge space. | Once you have your hygge friends, you’ll need a hygge space to spend time together in. Create a cozy, comfortable setting for all to enjoy. Add candles, throw blankets, floor cushions, a basket of slipper socks, etc. Include any little touches that make your time together more meaningful and warmer.
4. WITH FAMILY | Hygge can be enjoyed most of all among family, even if you aren’t physically together. Focus on enjoying one another’s’ quirks, finding ways to laugh together, and spreading joy.
- Quality over quantity. | The frequent exchange between family members can bring a true sense of value, comfort, and in turn, Hygge to your life. It doesn’t have to be for hours on end, but can simply be a weekly phone call of a few solid minutes where your focus is on each other. Make it a habit to tell a new joke, share a sighting of wildlife, or just truly listen to one another.
- Technology has its place. | While Hygge might be as far withdrawn from the idea of technology as possible, in view of local circumstances, it can actually improve our chances of enjoying one another’s company. For example, Pictionary, charades, and enjoying one another’s’ company in general, over videoconference can bring families closer during the pandemic. If you need a little help purchasing such a device, a small online loan can help bring you closer to your family. 24Cash supports Canadians by providing fair, reasonable loans when they need it most.
5. AT WORK | We can often struggle with the right balance of corporate vs. personal touch in our work environments. With the hygge philosophy in mind, create a workspace that values wellness and mindfulness.
- Aesthetics. | If you don’t have a window, add a lamp using a lower watt bulb for ambient lighting. You can also add a battery-operated tea light to warm your desk. Consider adding a real plant, like a spider plant or succulent, for some healthy greenery and cleaner air. When appropriate, opt for a warm, cozy shawl-like throw for ultimate comfort.
- Mindfulness. | Even within the most formal of offices, there is a time and place for a shared meal or cup of coffee. Warm up your refreshment station with different teas, personalized mugs or flavoured creamers. “Take your tea or coffee break at the same time every day so that folks know they can wander over to your workspace at the same time.” – LiveRichOnLess.com Encourage your office to take a regular-time out for a hardy laugh, shared encouragement, and a healthy mind.
6. IN FINANCES | There is really only one point in getting Hygge with your finances – don’t overthink it. Focus on quality time and experiences, enjoying the process and not just the end product (like cooking a meal rather than take out, building a shelf, rather than buying one, etc.) The simple act of focusing on experience, rather than consumption, will keep your spending to a minimum. True Hygge doesn’t revolve around or even involve luxury or technology. Get creative with your décor, share in making meals rather than dining out, prioritize fresh air, and exploring nature when looking for something new to do.
You and your loved ones deserve to live in the moment, enjoy the simple things, and build memories you can cherish forever. Hygge, or the attempt at Hygge, will surely bring meaning and enjoyment to your daily life.