The day was cold and you’re happy to be home. The last rays of sunshine are peaking through the window, bringing a warm and welcoming orange hue to your living room. You’re sitting down all cosied up in your couch, in front of the fire (real or on your TV, nobody’s judging) under a fuzzy blanket with a comforting cup of bergamot tea. The sweet aroma of vanilla if floating around the room thanks to the scented candle you lit up. You’re present, here and now, in this cocoon of comfort and it just feels perfect. THIS is Hygge, and it feels good. Still confused? Keep reading to learn more about this trendy Scandinavian lifestyle!
WHAT IS HYGGE?
Pronounced “hoo-guh”, you’ve probably heard about it as this super aesthetic interior decor trend. However, it is so much more! If it had to be described in 3 words, it would be “cocoon”, “warmth” and “togetherness”.
Originating from Danemark, this scandinavian word is near impossible to translate in one word. It can even be used as a noun, an adjective and a verb. The reason being because, rather than just a word, it is a lifestyle and a philosophy in itself: it’s the concept of feeling cozy and comfortable, and finding well-being through the simple things of life. Living a hygge life is building your own cocoon through little things to create a comfy ambiance. It is leading a simple and slow life, and bringing it back to the basics, the essentials.
In addition to the material and environment aspect, there is also an important social dimension to it. This lifestyle is meant to be experienced in conviviality. Such comfort and warmth is better experienced together, and appreciating all the little things also goes through appreciating the people in your life.
As Meik Wiking, CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen (that’s how serious the Danes are about their well-being), puts it in his book The Little book of Hygge.
WHY IS HYGGE IMPORTANT?
Although a charming season thanks to the end of year Holidays, winter and its cold weather are often synonymous with seasonal depression and anxiety. The days are shorter, you can’t seem to relax your muscles because of the shivers constanlty running through your body, and the sun, if not hidden by a gloomy cloud cover, is not out for long and you just can’t get your daily dose of vitamin D.
Hygge is great way to not fall into the great winter pit of despair. It promotes a living environment that is free of anxiety, invites living in community and spending time with close friends and loved ones, and focusing on making your world calm, soft, and soothing.
One of the end goals of hygge is to feel safe enough to allow yourself to let your guard down, to be fully present in the moment, to enjoy and be grateful for the people around you and the environment you live in, and to practice, in a way, mindfulness. Experiencing hygge can help reduce stress as well as anxiety, and can improve emotional well-being. Our basic needs are met, for exemple through social connection by spending time with people, and we feel more grounded thanks to sensory stimulation, for exemple with the help of aromatherapy.
HOW DO YOU PRACTICE HYGGE?
A great way to start practicing Hygge is to call out to your 5 senses.
Let’s start with vision 👁
Transform your home into a cocoon using soft neutral colors, such as white, blush, soft browns or beige. They feel comforting to look at and will help you calm your mind. They can be in form of light, decor, paint or furniture.
Get touchy-feely ✋🏼
Favor fuzzy and soft materials that just feel like heaven to sit or lay on, that will keep you warm and make you feel safely wrapped and nurtured.
Nurture your sense of smell 👃🏼
Did you know that specific smells can help you relax or put you in a better mood? Try burning scented candles or using an aromatherapy diffuser with lavender or citrus notes, or any scent that you know will please your nostrils, and just unwind in your own little bubble. You can also opt for wooden furniture and decor that will still carry the natural smell of the wood.
Please your ears 👂🏼
Our ears pick up on more sounds than we actually are aware of, and some frequencies are known to help calm an agitated mind. Thanks to the magic of Youtube, you can find plenty of up to 10 hours-long videos of only white or brown noise, a nice lofi playlist or simply fireplace crackling sounds. Alternatively, you can also decide to just be in comfortable silence, to have a little peace and quiet to contrast with your fast-paced daily life.
Nourish your tastebuds 👅
Tend to your sense of taste by making yourself a warm and soothing tea or hot chocolate, and enjoy it with a sweet or savoury treat. Even more fulfilling if you baked them yourself!
HOW DO YOU HYGGE YOUR SPACE?
Let’s get technical now, how can you actually hygge your living-room or bedroom? Here are some easy products that are “hyggelig” (hygge-like) and that we would totally incorporate today into our living environment:
🧡A Lavender, Sandalwood & Vanilla scented soy candle from SOJA&CO, lavender is often used as a relaxing scent in pillow mists and candles.
🧡This 12 HOURS LONG video of a cozy fireplace gently crackling and burning. 🧡Homemade hot chocolate and cookies using QANTU cacao (we talked about them in our previous blog on Ethical gifts ideas this Holiday season, remember? 😉)
🧡Our extra soft throw blanket made from Alpaca wool, to wrap you in love and comfort!
All of this, accompanied with a nice book, a simple knit or crochet project, or used in a moment shared with loved ones, is the beauty of Hygge!
However, it is not about the pressure of buying new products and consume to “fit in” the hygge lifestyle, far from it! You can also hygge your life with the most simple things, and what you already own.
Are you ready to jump into your Hygge cocoon?
Most importantly, remember that, as Meik Wiking says in “The Little book of Hygge”: “Hygge is about an atmosphere and an experience, rather than about things”. You can create and live hygge with the simplest of things, and that’s the beauty of it: enjoying the simple things of life. Is hygge already part of your life? Are you interested in incorporating more of it in your daily life this winter?