Staying cozy and happy this winter is easy if you learn to embrace the Danish idea of Hygge. (pronounced who-gah)
There isn’t really a direct translation to English but just conjure up images of snuggling up in front of fires and under blankets with hot chocolates, comfort foods, smelly candles and quality time with friends and family. That’s the general idea of Hygge. A state of coziness and generally being warm and comfortable. Considering the outdoor environment of a Danish winter I think you can see why they like it so much!
Our first Au Pair introduced our family to Hygge and since then I’m happy to report it’s now a firm favourite in our home. In the beginning I was bemused as to why a tall, stunning and outgoing girl would want to stay home under quilts with candles in her room instead of wandering The Rocks pub’s at night with all the other travelers.
It was only after she took control of the lounge room one evening and we all Hygge-d together that I really got the idea. It’s like flopping on the lounge exhausted and just watching netflix with wine, however all the more stylish:) Since then I’ve become much more of a home body (getting old!) and would much prefer to stay in on a Friday night with my kids, my candles, my rug, a movie and snacks. No more, Dance Floor… I’m such a fan I have even been known to Hygge in the summertime.
5 Reasons Hygge is good for you
- It forces you to slow down, relax and calm your mind
- It can help you achieve work/life balance and put things in perspective
- It allows you to switch off from technology (it’s very un-Hygge-eque to spend the whole time on a smartphone)
- It promotes happiness and well-being
- It improves your quality of sleep (especially if you do it often)
I read a great book some years ago by Helen Russell called “The Year of Living Danishly” (great title, I know) in which she chronicles a year of her life as she and her husband leave their stress-induced crazy London lives behind and move to rural Denmark where her hubby got a job at the Lego factory (of course). It’s such a great account of Danish life and the traditions and ideals they love, just like Hygge.
So whilst we are still in the midst of a freezing winter – do yourself a favour and learn to Hygge.
Just Be You, Everyday