Imagine yourself in a comfortable space. Light the candles, throw on the knitted sweaters and the thick socks, pop on a record, and cuddle around a candle-lit game of cards with friends. Or perhaps you would rather take a walk around the neighborhood, with a cup-o-joe in hand, stepping on crunchy leaves and letting the cool breeze pick up your hair. They both sound like moments of incredible hygge.
For anyone not from Denmark, the word “hygge” (pronounced hue-guh) probably sounds like nothing more than someone clearing their throat. To Danes, though, hygge is a lifestyle, a feeling of warmth and charm. Hygge is the feeling of coziness, usually in the company of food, friends, and good vibes. It is a feeling to be worked into all facets of daily life, at work, during meals, with friends, and alone. We have a lot to learn from this Danish ritual to make our moments more intimate and learn the art of coziness. Especially as young people and students, incorporating elements of hygge into otherwise average day-to-day tasks will make your routine feel cozier.
1. "That will be for here, please."
Are we so busy that we cannot find the time to eat in our day? Instead, we eat while we walk to class, or while we are driving, or while we are in the shower (shower mango, am I right)? Instead of ordering your coffee online only to run out the door right after you pick it up, how about fighting for a table at the new Starbucks at Publix and inviting a friend for some catching up? You can also make your coffee at home in that dusty Keurig and enjoy your caffeine fix cozied up in a sweater on your porch or balcony (or the stairwells for the students still living the dorm life). Any option is guaranteed to make your day just a little more charming than sprinting through campus with that coffee in-hand.
2. Get lit
Don’t start manically spreading fires around town, but fire and other lighting sure has a soothing effect that make any event a little more “lit”. Grab some candles as a centerpiece for hang outs with friends, or plan a bonfire with willing friends in their backyard. For anyone unable to light candles in their dorms or fires at their house, consider setting the mood for study dates or TV dinners with string lights, mood lamps, and other lighting pieces. A little lighting is not just reserved for romantic evenings, but for cozy reading by a candle, weeknight s’mores, or studying under some twinkling string lights.
3. Treat every meal as if it were Instagram-worthy
Any meal, even ramen in a cup, can feel more special and delicious with some presentation. Think of each meal as a potential Instagram hit by expertly positioning the silverware, adding some garnish, or organizing the plate into a masterpiece. An extra minute with your morning yogurt can turn breakfast into artwork by creating a design with your granola and berries on the top. Pull out the few real plates you own instead of the Tupperware so a quick dinner can feel more charming. Keep yourself accountable by posting BOTD (Breakfast-of-the-Day) photos on your Snapchat, showing off your plating skills. By putting in effort to the food that fuels you, not only will your meals feel more meaningful, you’ll gain some experience in food presentation in case you make it on a Food Network TV competition.
4. Splurge on essential dailies
Wise shoppers will search for deals, only shelling out for necessities, and only stocking up on the generic brands. While we may not need brand-name toilet paper, some daily necessities are worth the splurge when it can make our day feel a little more comfortable and homely. For students spending hours at the library every night, it is worth a few extra bucks to pick up the pens you actually like, instead of stealing free ones from tables around Turlington. The glide of a nice ink can make a surprisingly big difference in note-taking. If coffee-drinking is an everyday activity for you, consider searching Amazon for a luxurious thermos that will encourage you to make coffee at home, or at least get a cup discount at Starbucks. Buying a name-brand shampoo from TJ Maxx are similar in price to the cheap ones from Walmart, but will feel more luxurious and pampering than rubbing a bare-bones detergent on your head. As college students, we can’t afford many luxuries, but a few informed purchases can make your daily routine feel more special and meaningful.
Consider these tips to enrich your daily routine, one candle or Sharpie pen at a time. Little changes in your everyday habits make every moment memorable, homely, and hygge!