Hygge (pronounced "hoo-ga") is a concept in the Danish culture that cannot be defined by one specific meaning. Rather, the ritual incorporates enjoying life's simple pleasures, and is encompassed by contentment and well-being. It's all about self-care, simplicity, gratitude, harmony, and togetherness. This emerging trend in America is a remedy to society's trying times (and makes for some pretty aesthetic Instagram posts).
Some people are minimalists; some people are nomads; some people are hippies; some people are zen yogis. In Layman's terms, hygge is an accumulation of all of these and then some. It can pretty much be whatever you want it to be, as long as you are comfy, calm, and content.
So, how do you achieve the optimal hygge lifestyle?
1. Atmosphere & Ambience
Tips: Turn the lights down low if you have a dimmer or use twinkly lights. Burn candles for warm glow effect. Bring nature inside your home with plants that clean and re-oxygenate the air. Use natural elements and materials to decorate with, like wood, pine cones, and pebbles. Conquer your clutter. Choose colors that are calming.
2. Stow Away Electronics
Tips: Unplug. Be present. Scrolling through social media while burning a candle is not considered hygge. Allocate technology zones or times. Television is fine if you are enjoying it in the company of friends and family.
3. Indulge in Comfort Foods & Drinks
Tips: Think Grammy's secret recipes. Meals would be like pancakes, french toast, chicken pot pies, meatballs, soup. Sweets would be homemade, for example cinnamon rolls, cupcakes, pies, croissants, cookies, chocolate. Drinks would be coffee or warm tea or hot cocoa. Don't deprive yourself of yummy deliciousness, treat yourself.
4. Sharing is Caring
Tips: Build relationships. Share with friends and family. Practice togetherness in a drama free zone. Skip the controversial topics (that means no political debates!). Invite your friends over for a potluck dinner or a sleepover. Play board games, finish a puzzle, watch movies. Start new traditions.
Also, think of yourself as a team member to society. Ask yourself how you can contribute; volunteer. When everyone works together and lives harmoniously amongst one another, hygge is in full bloom.
5. Seek Gratitude
Tips: Keep a gratitude journal. Pray. Be spiritual, whatever that means to you. Smile, say thank you, send "thinking of you" cards. Use your senses to appreciate life's incredible gifts. Forgive. Practice being less materialistic.
6. Get Comfy and Relax
Tips: This one is self-explanatory. Snuggling, sweatpants, wool socks, fleece blankets, fireplace, pillows, bubble bath, face masks, meditate, take a nap. Create a hygge playlist that calms your mood. Unwind and relax because taking care of yourself is important. Be one with yourself. Enjoy peaceful bliss.
7. Learn a new Craft
Tips: Some great options include: Knitting, drawing, painting, pottery, playing an instrument, yoga, sewing, reading, writing, bike riding, hiking, gardening, photography. Get your mind working, be creative, pick up a hobby.
Denmark is one of the most happiest countries in the world and they live by this regimen. Perhaps, we should jump on the bandwagon.