Hygge Your Holidays
1.5 min read
Hygge, pronounced (hoo-ga), is the key to how the Danes maintain their status as one of "the world's happiest people" during their cold, dark winters. Used as a noun, adjective, and verb, hygge is about creating a feeling of coziness and contentment from simple, everyday experiences. Similar to mindfulness, hygge is about being present and encourages mental well-being.
According to Meik Wiking, the CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen, the Danish consider hygge "a defining feature of our cultural identity and an integral part of the national DNA. In other words, what freedom is to Americans, hygge is to Danes," Wiking says in his book The Little Book Of Hygge.
From enjoying a night in with close friends, to reading a book in a comfy nook—aka hyggekrog— there are several ways to hygge-fy your life and now is the perfect time to do it. We’ve gathered a list of five simple things you can do to get started:
Light some candles—lots of them. It’s hygge 101. Turn off that harsh overhead light and instead light the room with multiple candles. Have a fireplace? Light up those logs. You’ll feel your cortisol levels begin to lower with each flicker.
Get cozy. Change into your warmest, softest sweater. Get out those old sweatpants that you would never wear outside the house (the Danes call them hyggebusker). Slip on some thick socks or slippers. Wrap yourself in a furry throw blanket.
Have a night in with friends. Host a small group of your closest friends for dinner and drinks. Keep the meal simple and the smartphones away from the table. It’s about enjoying each other’s company.
Indulge in comfort food. Warm chicken pot pie. Cinnamon rolls. Hot chocolate. Whatever your choice is, let yourself indulge, even with an extra helping.
Take a long walk. No matter the weather, get outside and walk off that comfort food. That's us doing just that in the mountains recently. Breathe in the fresh air and connect with your environment.
You can apply hygge principles to every aspect of your life, including work. Enjoy your favorite cup of joe while scanning the day's headlines, bring a cozy blanket to use at your desk, set aside time to have lunch with your co-workers. Do your best to be present and take pleasure in the little things.