A few years ago, I learned about the Danish word 'hygge' and thought: "Ah! That's the word I've been looking for!" I think it is one of the most perfect words. I've always strived to decorate spaces so that they evoke a certain feeling - my office, my kitchen, my porch - and I never knew how to describe it besides cozy. If I am to feel calm and peaceful in my head (and maintain it around my family), then my spaces need to reflect that, and 'cozy' never seemed enough.
The Oxford Dictionary defines hygge, (pronounced 'HOO-guh' and not 'higgee' or 'hi-gee') as: a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being (regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture)." While I am no expert in this concept, nor am I the least bit Danish (thanks, ancestryDNA), I do like to think that I have a bit of a knack for making spaces feel more hyggelig. Like I wrote about in this blog post a few months ago, finding simple ways to be grateful, present, and re-ground yourself is vital to our mental health, and the concept of hygge is a fabulous way to help you do that!
One of my favorite things about hygge - besides how it makes me feel - is that it requires little to no money and incorporates things you likely already have in your home. If you're wanting to integrate more of this concept into your life, home, or office this season, here are a few simple ways to start. You can do just one, or a bunch at once! The beauty is that there's no right or wrong way to be hygge.
1. Light a candle or diffuse your favorite essential oil. I am partial to anything reminiscent of pine or cinnamon.
2. Wear slippers or cozy socks! I even wear slippers at work sometimes.
3. Wrap up with a blanket. Our family room has turned into "blanket central" lately.
4. Drink something warm in your favorite mug: Tea, coffee, lattes, cider - whatever you enjoy!
5. Listen to your favorite calming music. I know Enya is cliche, but I love her unapologetically.
6. Watch your favorite comfort movie or show - mine is the "Little Women" (any version!) or "The Great British Bake-Off!"
7. Bundle up and go for a walk with a friend - finding woods or water is a plus!
8. If you like baths, fancy it up with some candles, music, and/or epsom salts or bath bombs.
9. Do something creative that brings you joy - baking, crafting, journaling, knitting, etc.
10. Enjoy comfort food + laughter with your favorite people.
In a nutshell, hygge is anything that brings you (and those around you) peace, joy, and a sense of comfort. Isn't that lovely? We could all use more hygge in our lives, especially this year! Happy Hygge Holidays to you!