If you haven't heard of hygge over the last six months, you must have been hibernating. Which, funnily enough, is a very hygge thing to do. It’s an aspect of Danish culture that has taken the world by storm, affecting everything from the way we furnish our homes to the way we cook, spend time with friends and family, and look after ourselves.
So what is hygge, and why do you need it in your life? Here are seven things that everyone should know about hygge.
Hygge (pronounced hoog-ah) is a difficult thing to pin down, but essentially it’s all about wellbeing, creating a feeling of contentment inside yourself. The Danes are some of the happiest people in the world, so you might think that hygge is woven into their DNA, but actually, there are similar concepts in other countries too, such as Holland, where it’s known as gezelligheid. Hygge is about taking care of yourself mentally and spiritually, by doing the things that make you feel happy in a relaxed way.
Hygge can be indoors or outdoors
It’s about finding a conducive atmosphere. You might get your hygge on wrapped up in one of our cozy linen blankets on the sofa with your favorite boxset, or in a neighborhood cafe with mood lighting, great views and staff that are happy to let you while away the hours nursing a good cup of coffee. Your hygge place could be a picturesque remote beach or a park bench where you can be immersed in nature and spend time just watching the world go by at its regular pace.
Home furnishings are a big part of hygge. Think candles (lots of candles!), fluffy rugs, blankets and cushions, slippers and pajamas. We think that our linen robes are fantastic for getting that hygge feeling, so comfortable you could wear them all day long without the slightest bit of guilt. Linen bedding too adds plenty of texture and softness.
Share the hygge, or keep it all to yourself
Hygge can be social, but if you prefer you can also make it all about you. Spending time with close friends can give great hygge, but that doesn’t mean you have to throw a huge, fancy dinner party. A small, intimate gathering of close friends in a relaxed and informal atmosphere works wonders for inner bliss - remember to stock up on candles!
Hygge requires mindfulness
When you’re searching for your hygge, it helps to slow things right down and simply enjoy the moment. Whether you’re in the bath, catching up with an old friend or walking the dogs through a forest, it’s living for now. Good techniques for practicing mindfulness include placing the TV remote and your phone in a drawer out of the way, and tasks such as sewing, jigsaws or reading.
Hygge is not seasonal
Yes, it’s true that for many people hygge is a winter thing. The winter months in Denmark, of course, get very cold and dark, so it’s no surprise the Danes like to make their home environment so cozy and inviting. But there’s nothing to say you can’t hygge it up in spring, summer or autumn as well.
Don’t overdo your hygge
We can’t live in a hygge state of mind all the time. If we did, we wouldn't be able to take care of all the day-to-day, sometimes stressful things that are a part of life too. Over-indulging in hygge would be like a form of hibernation, so nothing important would ever get done. But of course taking care of yourself is also very important, and by trying to get a bit of hygge every day, or a few times a week, we appreciate it all the more in the midst of the madness.