Have you heard of Hygge? Pronounced ‘Hoo-Ga’ it’s a Danish expression for coziness. But Hygge is so much more than that. Hygge is a movement, a way of life. Hygge is an enjoyable evening with friends, it’s candle light, it’s a warm cup of tea on a chilly morning. I recently picked up ‘The Little Book of Hygge’ by Meik Wiking and found it fascinating. Denmark is often said to be one of the happiest countries in the world, and many say it’s because of Hygge. There is something so wonderful about this concept. One I think we should all explore more. How to make your life more hygge, and happy. It’s fairly simple.
Many countries have their own take on Hygge. My second language is Afrikaans, which is similar to Dutch and spoken in South Africa. It’s such an expressive language, and there are just some words that don’t translate properly into English. (This is true of so many languages.) One of my favourites is ‘Gesellig’. It describes the enjoyment of hanging out with good friends that is comfortable and relaxing.
When I was looking through the Hygge book it showed examples of other words from different countries similar to hygge. In Holland, the word is Gezellig. In Poland it’s Koselig. Both are so close to the Afrikaans word. In Canada, they say it’s called Hominess. Comfortable, cozy, a feeling of being content, Hygge is about creating an atmosphere. Here are some of the ways I’m making my mornings more Hygge.
A warm cup of something delicious
When Meik Wiking’s team did a survey among Danes, 86% associated Hygge with a hot beverage. Tea, coffee, hot chocolate or mulled wine – enjoying a warm drink is very Hygge. The Danes do love their coffee and there is even such a thing as Kaffehygge (coffee + hygge) as in come over for cake and kaffehygge.
A lit candle is said to be instant Hygge. I have a tray of candles on rotation, and will often light one in the evening. That saying that ‘everyone looks good by candlelight’ is true! Quite a few of you sent me messages to say you’ve never owned a Diptyque candle. Although I have yet to actually light this one, the smell instantly makes me happy. I would highly recommend picking one up for you home. Even if it’s just to be instagrammed!
We all have clothes to wear around the house. For most of us, this often consist of sweats and sweaters we’d rather not have anyone see us in! La Vie En Rose sent me this beautiful pajama set for Spring, and I was so happy to receive it. The robe is so lovely to wear around the house, with some cozy socks or ‘Hyggesokker’.
Cakes and pastries are a big part of Hyggeligt (Hygge-like.) The Danes love their sweets and very much associate it with Hygge. For this ‘Hygge’ morning I picked up some Laduree macarons. Delicious and so photogenic!
I had such a relaxing Easter long weekend, and the word Hygge came to mind a lot. Sleeping in, drinking that extra cup of coffee, going for brunch with good friends. In the end, Hygge is whatever makes you feel comfortable in your space. Beautiful furniture, cozy blankets, fresh flowers. It’s very personal. What makes your life more Hygge? Let me know in the comments below.