What is hygge? I’m sharing what is means today and how I’ve lived a hygge lifestyle without even knowing it until now!
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Have you wanted to slow down the pace of your hectic life? Do you want to come home to a cozy retreat after a long day of work outside the home?
I’ve had the Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking for a couple of years now but I didn’t actually read it until recently. I’m so surprised that I’ve been living a hygge way of life most of my life and I can’t wait to share with you how!
Hygge (pronounced HOO-gah or HYOO-ga) is more of a way of life than a decorating style but you can refer to both by saying hygge. It’s a Danish word and it’s become very popular over the past couple of years because the Danish people have become known as some of the happiest people on the planet and they believe it’s all due to a hygge way of life.
What exactly is hygge?
According to the Cozy Life by Pia Edberg, hygge is a “the Danish concept of coziness…the art of creating warmth, comfort, and wellbeing through connection, treasuring the moment, and surrounding yourself with things you love.”
Hygge is used as a verb as well as a noun. It’s often used as the atmosphere of a place (that coffee bar was very hygge).
In Canada, we have a similar word and that’s ‘coziness’. My friends and family know that I’m all about coziness and it may not be something that relates through my blog or photos. As soon as we get home in our house, we change into what I refer to as our ‘cozies’. If I’m in jeans, I’ll change into my cozy sweat pants and sweat shirt. My kids do the same as they wear uniforms to school. Sometimes they even change right into their pjs. A good friend of mine the other day said that I’m sure that the reason why your kids don’t want to leave your home to do weekend activities is because you make your home so cozy!
It’s no surprise to find out that Pia Edberg author of The Cozy Life grew up in Denmark but currently resides here in Vancouver, BC!
I’ve always loved to bake and although I don’t share many baking recipes on my blog that much anymore as I’m trying to make more healthy baking recipes, I often bake something on the weekend.
The Danes talk about hygge a lot in regular conversation. They would rather go to a coffee place that served horrible coffee but had a hyggelig atmosphere with comfy chairs, a fireplace and candles than a sterile restaurant with great coffee.
The Danes love their candles. In fact, they burn more candles than anyone else in the world!
They also love their tea and coffee and baked goods such as cakes.
They would rather have a handle of very close friends, invite them over for a hygge meal and play board games all night by candlelight. The meal would be made by scratch and the making of the meal would be part of the hygge experience.
Because the weather is dark and dreary most of the year in Denmark, they have perfected cozy living indoors. It’s very dreary where we live too. Vancouver is such a beautiful city but it rains a lot here. And where I am in North Vancouver on the mountain nestled in the trees, can be even more dark and dreary. So as the clouds pass by over the city, they rain over North Vancouver. I’ve never minded it as I’ve grown up in this kind of weather and I’ve just made a point of making where I live very cozy.
That’s not to say that only staying indoors is hygge. Skiing for an afternoon or going for a walk in nature is hygge too especially when it’s finished with a cup of hot cocoa or mulled wine afterwards.
What I learned while reading this book is that hygge is good for introverts and I never thought of it in that way before. I’m an introvert but I still love socializing with friends. It’s a way of being social without being drained by entertaining too many people or by going out to an event with a large crowd. Introverts often prefer to use their social time with loved ones, to have meaningful conversations so what better way than to have friends over for hygge evening.
In fact, people that move to Denmark find it hard to make new friends because most Danes have already made their hygge friend group and it can be hard to penetrate. But once you are in a hygge friend group, then you’re in it for life!
It’s the same way that Aaron and I like to live and they way I’ve always loved without even knowing that it had a name! Our children are always our number one priority and we do lots of fun hygge activities with them like watching movies together under cozy blankets with popcorn or baking together or going for a walk in nature. We love board games as a family and playing Uno and Skipbo.
When the kids go to their dad’s, we love getting together with friends for more hygge experiences.
The Hygge Manifesto
I love the Hygge Manifesto that is in The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking. I think it summarizes why the Danes are some of the happiest people on the planet!
- Atmosphere – Turn down the lights.
- Presence – Be here now. Turn off the phones.
- Pleasure – Coffee, chocolate, cookies, cakes, candy, Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!
- Equality – ‘We’ over ‘me’ – Share the tasks and the airtime.
- Gratitude – Take it in. This might be as good as it gets.
- Harmony – It’s not a competition. We already like you. There is no need to brag about your achievements.
- Comfort – Get comfy. Take a break. It’s all about relaxation.
- Truce – No drama. Let’s discuss politics another day.
- Togetherness – Build relationships and narratives. ‘Do you remember the time we…?’
- Shelter – This is your tribe. This is a place of peace and security.
Isn’t that amazing?! It’s the perfect way to live in my opinion. I imagine the entire world would be a better place to live if we all followed this manifesto, don’t you?
I hope you found this post helpful in finding out more about hygge is all about it and how you can incorporate it more in your lifestyle this fall and winter. I think it’s the perfect way to beat those winter blues!
I’ll be sharing more hygge posts coming up!
Make sure to pin it for later!