Embracing Hygge

During the in-betweeny period of Christmas and New Year I had some time to myself to catch up. I had briefly looked at Hygge just before my 2017 Blog Post but didn’t really go much further into it as time was a bit stretched, so I made a mental note it was something I really wanted to look into some more, (I also told my mum about it and she loves it!) It is starting to become more widely known and I wondered what rock I had been hiding under by not finding it sooner! (It really is that much of a game changer!). In case you aren’t familiar with Hygge, (pronounced hoo-gah), it is a word related to a feeling or mood that comes from taking genuine pleasure in making ordinary, every day moments more meaningful, beautiful or special. Hygge is being aware of a good moment whether it’s simple or special. I learnt that there are such simple ways to incorporate this into daily life, it is beginning to make such a big difference to me and how I feel physically and mentally. So if you are interested in learning a little more, I will pop some tips below and a few links to other websites/books I have found useful.
1. Create your own zone
Whether you want to take on your whole home or just concentrate on one area you use daily, Hygge is about creating a sense of cosyness, a place of comfort. I decided to start with the spare bedroom, with just an adjustment in lighting to something softer, a smaller desk, and opening the space up, it made a huge difference. I now use this space to get ready each morning, when before I would dread going in, even to grab something quick, never mind working and getting ready in there. This has transformed my mornings which leads me on to my next step.
2. Breakfast
I like to start my morning with a nice cup of tea whilst I get ready. I used to be a huge tea drinker, working in an office, it’s hard not to be, but last year I managed to massively reduce the amount I drank, however I still like to start the day with one. (As well as a bowl of porridge before I leave, another Hygge must have!) Having a cuppa is a simple ritual that starts me off in the right way and by picking my favourite mug each morning, it’s a way to embrace the simple things that improve how you feel.
3. Relaxing
According to the European Candle Assocaition, Danes burn more candles per head than anywhere in Europe, such is their devotion to ‘hygge’. As a lover of candles I was overjoyed that one of the sections in learning Hygge is creating a sense of cosyness with candles. I already knew how much they can change an atmosphere whether you are relaxing in the bath, curling up to watch a movie or having a spring clean. So when you get in from work, light a couple of candles, even if its just tea lights, it will make such a difference to becoming more calm and relaxed. (If you can’t use candles, try fairylights – game changer!)
4. Invest in a bike
Ok so this is next on my to do list. Denmark is well-known for its devotion to bicycles. In Copenhagen there are more bikes than inhabitants with almost 400 kilometers of biking lanes throughout the city. Living in a flat that has stairs up to it, it is a challenge to get up and down with my current bike (it’s SO heavy!) however there are always great deals on bikes and its such a great way to get exercise and boost your mood as it releases ‘happy hormones’.
5. Eat together
Sometimes this can be easier said than done, with busy schedules etc however it is an important aspect in bringing a sense of togetherness with your family/partner. It is a great way to chat about your day and spend time with each other without distractions so if you can hang on for them to get home, or plan one day a week to eat together, it will make such a difference.
6. Beat the Winter Blues
Learning Hygge for me, has helped me beat the Winter Blues we know oh too well. Spending more time finding simple things each day that bring me joy and working on becoming closer to those around me.
These are just 6 ways to start ‘becoming more Hygge’ and if you are interested in reading more I would highly recommend The Little Book of Hygge http://amzn.to/2jDuB8Q​.