I first stumbled upon the concept of hygge about a year ago. Initially, it really just confused me, and I didn’t look into it much further. Recently, however, I decided to do a bit more research. Its been popping up everywhere I look, and I wanted to see what the hype was about!
So! Without further ado…
What is Hygge?
Hygge originates from the Danish, and it’ss pronounced like “hoo-gah”…or hue-gah? I’ve heard both! The actual definition is a bit vague, because it’s really a variety of things. After some research, I learned that basically, hygge more or less means “an atmosphere of coziness”.
So why don’t people just say cozy? Because, coziness is not everything that hygge is about. Hygge refers to a certain atmosphere of warmth and happiness. Something can be “hyggeligt,” or hygge-like. It can be a feeling or moment, no matter how simple, that is special and warm…in a sense. It can also be a certain atmosphere you create – maybe for your space. The Little Book of Hygge (linked here) does a much better way of explaining everything that goes into the concept! The Kindle edition is super inexpensive, and I just read it on the Kindle App on my iPad!
Hygge House also does a great job of explaining some of the more vague areas of hygge. I’ve inserted a quote here:
“You can’t buy a ‘hygge living room’ and there’s no ‘hygge foods’ to eat.
Hygge literally only requires a conscious appreciation, a certain slowness, and the ability to not just be present – but recognize and enjoy the present. That’s why so many people distill ‘hygge’ down to being a ‘feeling’ – because if you don’t feel hygge, you probably aren’t using the word right.”
SO. How does one even cultivate hygge? How does one get that hygge-feeling?
Simple Ways I’m Cultivating Hygge
If you recall from my New Year’s Resolutions post I did last week, my main focus for 2018 is to learn how to say no and take a step back. For various reasons, I’ve learned fairly recently that it’s extremely important for me to stay focused in on the present and to take care of all aspects of my health.
Part of striving towards a simpler schedule/life means focusing in on the now, and appreciating the present. It means finding joy in the day-to-day moments, and being consciously aware of the people you’re with, and the surroundings you’re in. When the people you’re with make you feel full inside, and your surroundings are relaxing and warm, you are more likely to feel hygge.
There are certain things you can start implementing into your lifestyle that help to cultivate this feeling. Here are some of the ones that work for me!
- CANDLES. In terms of a physical environment, warm and diffused light is the Danish essential for creating a cozy and hyggeligt atmosphere. Plus, they smell amazing. My favorites from Bath and Body Works are the Fresh Balsam scent (it smells like the U.P., in the best way!), Rose Water & Ivy, and Vetiver Sandalwood. I checked on the website, and the last two aren’t sold online, but you can get them in stores!
- I’m not sure if all the benefits people say that salt lamps have are 100% accurate, but I still like having mine on in my room! For one, it’s another source of diffused light. It’s also said to release ions, which have all sorts of positive effects. Here’s one I found for $16!
- Swapping out screens for a good book before bed. This one is self-explanatory, but not having a bright screen right in my face before I sleep helps me to relax so much more!
- Along the same lines, using the Moment app on my phone to track screen time, which helps me be more aware of the time I’m taking away from being present.
- Single-tasking. Putting my focus into one thing at a time helps me to fully focus on it and get it done right.
- Extra fuzzy socks and blankets. Self-explanatory!
- Getting everything prepared fully for the next day. This in itself isn’t calming, but once I have everything ready to go, I can relax more easily and think about the now.
That was a whole lot of information at once, but it’s such a nice little concept! I hope you learned a bit from this, and let me know if there are any ways that you like to practice hygge! I would love to hear all about them. 🙂