The concept of hygge (pronounced HUE-guh) is an essential part of Danish culture. Not meant to be translated literally, it’s more than a word—it’s a feeling, a philosophy. So what is hygge exactly? It’s the feeling of coziness, of enjoying the simple things in life. It’s spending time relaxing with family or friends, or enjoying a warm cup of tea by the fire. Hygge is all about the good things in life and being present in moments of contentment or well-being.
The Danes experience hygge throughout their daily lives, so it’s ever-present in their culture. Some say this may be why Denmark is considered the happiest country on Earth. From the rituals of the festive Danish winter season, to simple activities like visiting a local flower shop or cozy café, to enjoying an evening in with family, the Danes feed their spirits by finding moments to celebrate the simple, familiar, and comforting things in life. Since hygge is present in every aspect of life, it can also be woven into your family’s lifestyle. Below are some tips for creating a healthy hygge home.
Hygge in the Home
Denmark is cold and dark for a large part of the year, so Danes created hygge as a way to stave off boredom and dreariness. The simple act of lighting candles produces charm and coziness and is a staple for the Danes or those who practice hygge. Connection with loved ones and creating a relaxing, uplifting environment are priorities. All of these elements are at the core of what is hygge and can be incorporated in many ways into your home. Here are some ideas:
1. Make Your Daily Life an Art Form
Setting aside some time every evening to read by the fire with your family or lighting a candle for the dinner table can make an ordinary night special. Take it easy after work and enjoy a cup of tea while watching the sunset, or change into comfortable clothing and look through family photo albums together. Take a few minutes to cherish each day instead of drudging through the week.
2. Designate a Hygge Day in Your Home
This should be a day when nothing but connection, coziness, and togetherness are priorities. On your chosen hygge day, leave any personal issues outside; this is a time to connect and be present to enjoy loved ones. Work together to create your hygge time to benefit every member of the family. Spend time playing games, baking, or reading to each other. Your hygge time doesn’t need to be structured—it just needs to highlight unity and support.
3. Make Hygge a Priority
It takes a lot of work to create these special moments, so you have to prioritize it. Set up your environment to promote coziness and comfort, whether you’re watching a movie, playing games, or just reading with your family. Be present by turning off your phone and take care of any pressing issues—like chores or work—before or after your hygge time.
4. Transform Your Home into a Happy Hygge Home
Design a cozy nook filled with pillows and blankets, with games and books nearby. Create an inviting bedroom, free from television and computers, and filled with simple, delightful décor. Make a cuddle-worthy space in front of your fireplace. Be sure to keep dining areas clutter-free and inviting as a comfortable gathering spot for friends and family. Display family pictures and treasures. And don’t forget to light lots of candles!
With these tips, you’ll have no trouble transforming your living space into a healthy hygge home. A little bit of hygge can mean the difference between stress and relaxation, so take that time for yourself and your family to unwind. If you’ve brought hygge into your home, make sure you tweet us @TomsofMaine!
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