The hygge lifestyle is a Scandinavian concept that revolves around the feelings of contentment and being cosy as well as finding enjoyment in the simple things in life. Although this Danish word cannot be translated into a single English word, this concept has still been exported around the world, and many people are adopting it into their lifestyles, and you can too!
Many people actually experience hygge without even realising… do you love snuggling up under a blanket on a cold day? Do you love reading a book whilst in a warm bath? It seems hygge is embedded in our lives, particularly more evidently in the winter months when we seek the warmth and comfort that the hygge lifestyle promotes. This is seen as a key part of Danish cultural identity and a key factor in perhaps why the country is seen to have one of the happiest populations in the world. Despite Denmark having cold and dreary winters, the national obsession with hygge actually allows us to appreciate the things that bring us joy in life, rather than focussing on the negatives. As the word is derived from the Norwegian word for well-being, it is not surprising that many list hygge as a reason for increased happiness in the winter months. It also links to the German concept of Gemütlichkeit, and the Dutch concept of Gezelligheid, both referring to cosy feelings in the colder seasons.
Despite Denmark having cold and dreary winters, the national obsession with hygge actually allows us to appreciate the things that bring us joy in life, rather than focussing on the negatives.
The concept is about creating an atmosphere of calmness and content, making it a friendlier, and more forgiving lifestyle which is perfect after the past few stress-filled years we have had. It’s no wonder that this lifestyle is more widely used outside of the Danish area.
Want to incorporate more of these Scandinavian hygge activities into your lifestyle? Then look no further:
- Enjoy a hot beverage by the fire on a rainy day – I recommend trying out something new, such as having hot chocolate on a stick; it’s a fun spin to try out on a classic drink.
- Taking a long walk on a quiet snowy evening is a popular choice in Denmark; but to adapt it to the typical UK weather, I suggest a long walk in the crisp morning air, perhaps by a lake or a river. Togetherness is key in hygge. Although taking time for yourself is important and recognised in hygge, spending quality time with the significant people in your life is vital to producing that content-factor that is a corner stone in the concept.
- Cooking up your favourite comfort food. Rather than spending money on a costly restaurant or focussing on materialism, cooking something yourself that makes you feel relaxed and at peace is a better way to evoke this atmosphere of hygge in your home.
Although taking time for yourself is important and recognised in hygge, spending quality time with the significant people in your life is vital to producing that content-factor that is a corner stone in the concept.
Hygge seems to be noticeable particularly for the use of candles, knitted jumpers, and cooking comfort food. This concept is year-round, including the summer months, where picnics and outdoor cinemas are typical of a summer hygge lifestyle, but the winter version seems like a better-known concept. It is such a beloved lifestyle because it is simple, acts positively on mental well-being, and acknowledges that the simplicities in life can give us the most happiness.