Although I was well aware of the global craze of the Danish concept \”hygge\” (pronounced \”hoo-gah\”), I didn\’t really appreciate it until this year. Hygge is defined as \”a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being.\” However, most Danes will actually tell you the word can\’t be directly translated and it is more of a feeling that needs to be experienced.
Prior to this year, my schedule was packed with something going on nearly six out of seven days a week. This year really flipped the script. Instead of taking a hundred pictures of a sunset, I put my phone down and was actually in the moment. It brought on a feeling of contentment and felt satisfying.
I spent some time really learning about the Danish concept of hygge and it is definitely not a trend. It\’s apart of everyday life in Denmark. Slowing down, being grateful, creating a warm and relaxed atmosphere at home. With the holidays right around the corner, I think we can all use a little hygge in our lives.
What is Hygge?
Hygge is a feeling, a state of mental coziness or contentment achieved through simplicity.
“Hygge is about an atmosphere and an experience, rather than about things. It is about being with the people we love. A feeling of home. A feeling that we are safe, that we are shielded from the world and allow ourselves to let our guard down. You may be having an endless conversation about the small or big things in life – or just be comfortable in each other’s silent company – or simply just be by yourself enjoying a cup of tea.” – The Little Book Of Hygge, Meik Wiking.
10 Ways to Experience Hygge at Home this Holiday Season
1. Add candles to your home – the more, the merrier
Candles are essential to hygge, and instantly make the space feel homey, warm, and inviting. You can\’t just let the candles sit there, you actually need to burn them to create hygge. Create intimacy in the space with varied height candles.
Pro Tip: Scented candles are not the norm in Denmark. In fact, they are considered artificial. Danes prefer natural and organic candles.
2. Embrace ambient light
Overhead lights can be harsh, and Christmas lights don\’t have to be limited to a tree. Add twinkling lights around a window, down a blanket ladder, in from of your television, above your bed, and elsewhere throughout your home. I live in Michigan, and it\’s basically cold and dark for 3613598 days a year? Having warm ambient light in your home will help on those looong, winter days.
3. Add soft and cozy blankets
It\’s nearly impossible to be warm and cozy without a blanket – am I right? Add soft and cozy blankets to the couch, an office space, bed, and elsewhere through your home. I always opt for practical blankets that can actually be used. My favorite blankets are homemade chunky knit throws and super soft blankets.
Pro Tip: All The Feels has the coziest and softest blankets that I have ever discovered.
4. Bring nature indoors
Typically during the holiday season, it is too cold to spend time outdoors which means it is essential to bring the outdoors indoors. Add some branches of fresh pine to your home, a pile of birch logs tied with a pretty plaid bow, or fill a jar with pinecones to add to your coffee table.
5. Warm drinks
We aren\’t talking about Starbucks while walking around Target. Instead, slowly enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning, tea or hot mulled cider in the afternoon, and hot chocolate in the evening while curled up on the couch with a blanket and a good book.
Pro Tip: I am loving the positive energy that Pep Talk Poetry brings.
6. Comfy clothing
As mentioned previously, hygge is about all things cozy – including your clothing. Think big bulky sweaters, leggings, and cozy socks.
7. Cozy fire
Nothing embodies cozy quite like a roaring fire. Some of us (myself included) do not have a home with a real or fake fireplace, so we have to get a little creative with cozy. I recently discovered City Bonfires, a small portable bonfire that uses non-toxic recycled soy wax. You have to use it outside, and it does not create a smoky smell and is very low soot. City Bonfires have become my new favorite, I especially love to start when when the snow is lightly falling and I hit on hot cocoa and enjoy making s\’mores over the City Bonfire.
8. Cook comfort foods
Make yourself some simple, warm foods. Think roasted vegetables, soups, and chilis. Warm beverages, simple sweets, and baked goods are also an essential part of hygge.
9. Minimalistic decor
When it comes to the holiday season minimalistic decor is the way to go. Deck the halls in simplistic ways, from pine cones in a jar to decorative soap in the bathroom. Decorative soaps add a beautiful touch of cozy. I personally love the soaps from Finch Berry and have the Wonderland Soap in this adorable farmhouse style red clawfoot tub soap dish.
Take the time to truly enjoy the present moment, even if it is just for a few hours before bed. Putting away everything digital for a few hours is a great way to give yourself a little \”me\” time.