Hygge is the Danish way of living that is sweeping the UK. Pronounced ‘hoo-gah’, there isn’t any direct translation into English but it basically means cosying up, creating a warm and friendly atmosphere and enjoying the good and simple things in life.
If you think about a cold winter’s evening, with the fire burning, candles lit and a mug of hot chocolate surrounded by the people, you love then you have nailed it. But it also works in the summer too – a picnic with friends in the park or even just taking the time to read a good book.
The term originally comes from Norway where it meant something along the lines of ‘well being’ and it is this essence that the Danes have latched on to. And they are some of the happiest people in the world so it is worth giving a go right?
Here are my five simple ways of integrating some hygge in to your life this season.
5 ways to hygge
Image: The White Company
Candles are intrinsic to hygge. Have at least one lit at all times (but the more the better), whether it is during your family breakfast, when you are in the bath or reading a good book.
Eat comfort food (especially pastries)
The Danes get through a remarkable 10 kilos of pastries each year, including Tebirkes (poppy seed rolls) and Wienerbrød.
This is one we can all get on board with. Put aside the clean eating for a moment and have a cake. We all need balance after all.
Spend time with friends and family
Invite your closest friends and family round for an intimate supper, easy going conversation and some hunkering down in front of a lit fire. In hygge, you don’t discuss topics that will have opposing viewpoints such as politics, but rather keep it simple, relaxing and supportive.
The Danish dress appropriately for the cold weather – layering up in warm clothing which is predominantly monochrome. I am loving this cashmere rollneck dress, this oversize check scarf and these cashmere blend tights for the winter months.
Make your home cosy
Light the fire, switch on the table lamps and snuggle up in a warm blanket.
I already love all of these things, and will be actively trying to add more hygge to my lifestyle over the coming months.
Will you be giving it a go?