HOW TO HYGGE
Updated: Aug 10, 2018
Well isn't January miserable. Christmas is over, the decorations are down, all the nice food has been consumed and the diet has started. And on top of all of that, most people are back at work… fun.
Normally, I find January quite depressing. It's dark and wet and windy… the only silver lining to the crappy weather is the fact that we might actually have a decent snow day. You're probably carrying a few extra pounds thanks to all those pigs in blankets and mince pies, and the gym is a hell hole this month. This year, at least I don't have to go back to work this week!
I've been reading my "Little Book of Hygge" and the secret is out… I've figured out how the Danes manage to cope with those awful long, cold winters and still manage to be some of the happiest people in the world. The answer is Hygge.
Hygge probably needs no introduction - it's been floating around for the last year or so, but just in case you've been living under a rock… Hygge (pronounced Hoo-gah) is a Danish word. It doesn't translate into a single English word, it is more an attitude, or a feeling - finding joy in simple everyday moments. So this January, I am looking to Hygge to get through the winter and instead of just trying to get through, I'm going to celebrate the cosiness, warmth, and my family. Making ordinary moments, extraordinary.
I've picked out a few elements of Hygge that I am going to be embracing with gusto to bring a bit of the Danish charm to the shitty Sheffield winter.
Hygge in the Home -
This is probably the most important as the majority of Danes say Hygge is found most in your own home. A house is not just a place to stay, it should be your sanctuary; so create a cosy and peaceful environment for you and your family. De-clutter your home and keep it tidy and minimalistic. I've made a start on this, I did the big post Christmas clean and tidy on Wednesday and (as per my new year goals!) I have started the mass clear out today (and said goodbye to FIFTEEN pairs of shoes!!!).
To make the home more cosy, you can layer up soft fabrics such as fur (faux, obvs) blankets and cushions, knits, macrame, woven rugs etc. Use natural materials such as wood, wool, fur and leather in balance with nature. Live-edge tables and reclaimed wood furniture will help add to the Hygge. I'm currently in the process of replacing some of the soft furnishings in our living room (again!) and also searching for a new coffee table so all of this will be done with "Hygge" in mind.
As a main part of Hygge is about things that make you happy, why not turn a blank wall into a display of all your favourite family pictures. I love a good gallery wall! I have one up in my office which I don't work in as much as I used to, so when I crack on with the décor in the hallway I'll be using some of the wall space to hang another one.
Hygge for you -
Hygge is all about taking time out for yourself - slow down and enjoy the little things. Snuggle down in to a corner to read a book, take a hot bath, listen to music, cradle a warm drink, go for a walk in the country all wrapped up. You get the drift. Basically all the things we never seem to have time to do. And I'm not really sure how I'm going to find the time to do it….
Creating a cosy atmosphere is key, and getting rid of your bright fluorescent lighting in exchange for candles is the first step. Lots and lots of candles. They will fill your home with a soft, warm glow, and (if you use scented candles) a lovely smell.
I love candles and soft lighting anyway… the husband hates it. But as he gets control of the remote every night, I've taken over the lighting so we are all about dimmed lights, lamps, and candles a plenty. I still think the Aldi scented candles are absolutely brilliant for the money. They look and smell amazing, and actually get quite a lot of burn time!
Food and drink -
Hygge is all about things that make you feel good… comfort food. Think a hearty stew, homemade cake, hot chocolate… champagne and oysters; not Hygge. Keep the winter blues away with a drink that warms from within and a large chunk of your favourite cake (homemade = extra points) Although this one doesn’t probably fit very well with most peoples January health kick!
Hygge with company -
Good company is essential to Hygge… spending time with loved ones is important for a happy life. Put your phones away and enjoy and enjoy an evening of food, board games, and easy conversation.
I'm not sure how the husband would feel about this, but I would love to do one night a week of no phones/ technology, eating dinner around the table, candle light etc. I might suggest it…. Pffftttt yeeeaaaaahhh!!!
So there you have it! My favourite elements of Hygge! I'll post a bit of an update over the next few weeks to let you know how it's all going, and if I am still immune to the January blues. What do you guys think? Is Hygge something you can see yourself embracing a bit to make the winter months slightly more bearable?
Images from Pinterest