Hygge, pronounced ‘hue-gah’ is a Danish concept of living well, togetherness, connection and an appreciation of enjoying the simplicity of life with contentment. Sounds blissful right? And it is! For me to Hygge is surrounding myself with those I love in simple comfort; candles burning, blazing chiminea, cosy throw and of course a hot cup of tea steaming away. It is a time to reconnect, catch up, breathe in the night air, stargaze and enjoy just being. This is something I have used over the past few years to reduce the stresses of our every day lives, and make time for not only my loved ones but for me. There are many, many ways to invite Hygge into your life and the beautiful thing is there really are no rules ♥
Ten ways to bring Hygge into your life:
- Be outside more, even if it is a chilly day grab your big thick socks, gumboots, jacket, scarf, hat and gloves and go for a wander. Your neighbourhood will look so much better with the steam rising off your breath, and the raindrops dripping from the trees. If you are lucky enough to live by water, the waves crashing and lapping at the shore is such a therapeutic rhythm and the salty breeze feels so good on your skin…cleansing and rejuvenating.
- Candles invoke warmth and cosiness no matter what the time. Choose a fragrance that resonates with you, be it a herbal one that relaxes you such as lavender or rose or something that brings back good memories they are all beautiful and enchanting. Beeswax is a lovely natural way to create an inviting Hygge atmosphere.
- Disconnect from the outside world – turn off the laptop, put away your phone, reach instead for a book or a craft that you have been meaning to enjoy. Taking time out from the constant interruptions of emails and messages is so good for your brain and soul. I feel like Pavlov’s Dog whenever I hear my phone indicating an email or text message – can’t leave it alone. I find turning it off is therapeutic and allows me to focus completely on something as simple as reading a book. Being present is so much easier without the outside world accessing you 24/7.
- De-Cluttering is a fabulous way to clear the air and space and release yourself from feeling overwhelmed by too much stuff! I go by the simple 3 pile process; Keep it if it is useful, has some sentimental value, or it brings you pleasure. Sell it if you are wanting to make a little extra cash or Donate it to a charity that will benefit from your generosity.
- Sitting by the fire is warming, relaxing and enchanting all at the same time. Something completely magical in watching the flames flicker, listening to the wood crackle and smelling the smokey air…blissful. Lovely to have a pile of logs or a basket of pine-cones at the ready.
- Catching up with friends is one of the best ways to share a laugh, some good food and enjoy the company that it brings. Whether you choose to entertain at home or meet up at a local spot it is soulful spending time with like minded friends. What better way to raise your spirits than to have a jolly good laugh with those closest to you. How about a pot luck picnic or BBQ?
- Gardening is a wonderful way to ground yourself – literally. Take time to do a spot of weeding, trimming or planting. Harvest your crop of vegetables or fruit, wander amongst the chickens, don’t forget to have a chat with them too. Breathe in the fresh air and listen to the birds chirping in the trees…I love to sit back after a day in the garden, with an icy cold cider and look at my achievements and celebrate the spaces I have created.
- Create a nook for yourself. Gather up some big cushions or pillows, a cosy blanket or throw, fluffy socks, slippers, comfy clothes, a book and a huge pot of your favourite tea. Put your music on or if you are like me relish the silence. Light a candle or set up some fairy lights and relax ♥
- Bake a favourite recipe, bread, scones or a sweet spicy loaf – all beautiful ways to share your love and feed the hungry. I love to bake on a cold rainy day to warm the house and fill it with the aroma of home baking.
- Brewing tea is a great way to stop for a few moments, listen to the kettle boil, watch as the tea brews and delight in the aroma and colour as you pour it from the pot into your favourite cup. Sit and relax while you savour the warmth and tranquility that tea can bring ♥
There are so many other ways to bring Hygge into your world; walking, savouring moments, watching a movie, creating, re-reading a series of books, wandering around a country market, fishing, listening to music, or traveling. Anything that brings comfort and pleases our soul is something we should be doing more of and inviting into our lives.
Spring Hygge: Fresh flowers in a vase, colourful salads and a good spring clean are all ways to make your surroundings more Hygge. Get out in the fresh air and embrace the new life that Spring brings. Candles and fairylights are a simple yet effective way to enhance your space and it brings such ambiance.
Autumn Hygge: The crunch of the first autumn leaves and the cool breeze is what makes me think of Autumn and all the ‘feel good’ things. Treat yourself to a piece of warm spiced gingerbread, a cup of hot chocolate (or tea ;)), some time out with a good book or movie and cuddle up with your favourite person or pet ♥
Winter Hygge: The season of hibernation… I use this one to look inward a little more and do things such as research for and write my blog, or a gratitude diary, plan a trip to somewhere I haven’t been before and get the crock pot out. I love to cook up a large casserole, fresh bread and a warming cosy dessert like an old fashioned steamed pudding just like Gran used to make ♥ Nothing more heart warming than to feed your family good food and see them satisfied.
Summer Hygge: With the warmer weather you can do more outside, like eating. BBQ’s are a big thing here in New Zealand and we love to make the most of the longer days by cooking and eating outside. Create an outside space, somewhere quiet with a nice breeze to enjoy some iced tea and get your fix of Vitamin D. Brighten up your home with fresh colours and prints that make you smile. Take to the beach, get your toes into the sand, wind in your hair and splash in the water.
Hygge (hue-gah) noun – A calm, comfortable time with people you love, a complete absence of frustrations or anything emotionally overwhelming. Often enjoyed with good food and drinks, warm blankets and candlelight. This is happiness.