Hygge for the home is getting a lot of attention right now, but it’s more than just candles and warm blankets. While those are important elements, it’s also about being together and present, food and drink and even cuddling your pets! Here are 8 ways to bring Hygge into your life.
We’ve seen a lot of talk of Hygge (Hoo-ga) over the last couple of years and I think I speak for many when I say how amazing it sounds.
What is Hyyge?
But the more I learn about Hygge, the more I realize it seeps beyond just decor. It’s completely about creating an experience. Sure, it’s about the home, but it’s also about people, food, drinks, and music.
Last year I found “The Little Book of Hygge, Danish Secrets to Happy Living” by Meik Wiking and have thoroughly enjoyed learning about this little secret that has been a part of the Danish way of living since the early 1800s. Might I also add, that everything about the book itself is cozy: the size, the feeling of the pages and the illustrations.
Wiking is also not new to this happy living thing. As CEO of the Happiness Research Institute, they focus on improving the quality of life for humans by researching the causes and effects of human happiness.
One of my biggest goals with Fresh Coast Vegan is to help create harmony between us and our Mother, so I absolutely LOVE that Hygge is about finding cozy with our environment. Creating a feeling of things just being right.
Here are some ways to help bring calm and cozy into your life.
Key elements of Hygge:
- Light: lighting is a must in creating the mood for your environment so be conscious of where you place it and how it dances around the room or warms a corner. Think about (safely) scattering candles around the room or using warm lightbulbs in your lamps. To stay green and healthy, avoid scented candles and beware that candles do give off soot.
- Blankets and cozy pillows: heavy blankets and squishy pillows covered in knitted covers are a great way to stay warm and add visual coziness.
- Nature: as I mentioned above, Hygge is very much about creating harmony. Bring in some wood and branches, pine cones, acorns, and even some faux fur if you find it at a thrift store. Don’t be afraid to bring in some of nature’s beautiful sounds like crashing waves, thunderstorms and snowstorms.
- Nook: find a corner in your home that makes you feel comfortable and relaxed. Give yourself a place to sit and a surface to place a drink, book or grazing platter.
- Food and drink: speaking of drinks and platters, make sure you’ve got something tasty to snack on or your beverage of choice within grasp. Consider warm drinks, hot soup and bread. If you’ve got company, ask everyone to bring a dish potluck style. (If you’re looking for a crowd pleaser, try this basil pesto with a warm baguette or this bourbon smash!)
- Get rid of your phone: …and computer, and tablet, and apple watch. Hygge is about being present and we all know how much of a distraction electronics are. Be present with yourself, your pets, and those around you. Take a few deep breaths and allow yourself to truly enjoy the moment.
- Company: even introverts need community and can benefit from a good conversation with close friends. Wiking even argues that being with other people might be the most important ingredient to happiness. He also mentions an American student of his that found Danish socializing to be much less draining as an introvert than American socializing, so find your people who accept you for who you are and you don’t feel the need to drain your mental state to impress others.
- Cuddle your pet: animals have a natural and incredible ability to be in the moment. Learn from them and feed off that positive energy.
Photo by Georgia de Lotz on Unsplash
There is an important dimension of Hygge that is talked about in the book: the idea of feeling safe and having trust… a concept that is hard with crippling anxiety that seems to spread through the energy of the house quickly and easily.
I truly feel that we could all use a more peaceful home that is welcoming when we walk in the door. A safe place, our haven from the chaotic world. A place that welcomes comfort and slowing down a bit.
Try taking any of these few elements listed above and incorporate them into your home. Keep in mind that Hygge does not just mean winter and Christmas, it can be a year-round gift you give to yourself and those around you.