International Hygge Day returns on 28th February 2018! Hygge (pronounced hoo-ga) comes from Denmark and loosely translates as 'cosy', but it's so much more than that. It's a lifestyle, an ethos and a way of thinking that Danes use to refer to many different aspects of their lives.
Denmark is consistently ranked among the world's happiest countries – so clearly they're on to something.
Meik Wiking, author of The Little Book of Hygge, says: "Hygge has been called everything from 'the art of creating intimacy', cosiness of the soul' and 'the absence of annoyance' to 'taking pleasure from the presence of soothing things', 'cosy togetherness' and, my personal favourite, 'cocoa by candlelight'."
Hygge is about being with loved ones, feeling safe and comfortable, or simply enjoying a cup of tea by yourself.
Read on to discover 7 ways to be more hygge…
1. Light a candle
While candles aren't essential for hygge, they can definitely help to set the tone for a cosy evening with soft lighting and a warm glow. Choose soothing scents such as cinnamon, ginger, vanilla or lavender.
2. Wrap up warm
Hygge is all about warmth and comfort. Find yourself a warm woollen blanket to snuggle under or put on your favourite sweater – it's all about being relaxed and appearances aren't important.
3. Enjoy good company
While you can be hygge alone, getting together with some friends or staying in with the family can help you to get through the long, dark winter evenings. So hyggeligt.
4. Make a hot drink
Soothing drinks immediately make us feel comfortable and give us a good excuse to stop what we're doing. While a hot chocolate or turmeric latte (try Jasmine Hemsley's golden milk recipe) can make your break feel really special, you can be just as hygge with a cup of tea on a rainy day – it's all about appreciating the moment.
Read more articles related to hygge:
- How to be hygge in the summer
- How to make your own Scandinavian fika mugs
- Make a Scandinavian evergreen table wreath
5. Switch off your phone
If you're going to commit to being hygge, it's helpful to shut out any distractions. Turn off all of your devices and try relaxing without technology – pick up a book, do some painting, or enjoy talking to friends and family.
6. Make a sanctuary
Danes strive to make their homes as cosy as possible – and this is definitely something you can think about in your own home. You might not be able to have a roaring fire, but you can create welcoming pools of light using lamps and have some lovely blankets ready for when you want to relax.
7. Be grateful
Gratitude is a big part of the hygge ethos – it's about enjoying the moment without worrying about the future or the past. This is entirely your time, so let go and simply appreciate the welcoming atmosphere.