Hoo-gah is the correct way to pronounce the word, hygge. I don’t know about you, but it feels kind of good to say! It’s like practicing a breathing technique: breathing all the way in and letting it all out with a great, hooooo-gah. Whew! I sure needed that after this eventful summer season; so many BBQs, so many outdoor activities with friends, so much running around but so little ME-time- amiright? So as this season slows down, let’s all embrace the hygge lifestyle.
SO WHAT IS HYGGE?
Hygge is a concept used to define the quality of simplistic contentment and well-being. It’s most commonly used in Scandinavian countries during their harsh winters, which usually consist of only seven hours or less of sunlight each day. It’s an intimate way of enjoying a cozy life at home while calming and soothing the senses. It wasn’t until the 18th century when Denmark turned hygge into a way of living that it became the trending lifestyle we all want to be a part of.
As the summer season comes to an end, the words cozy, comfy, and hot cocoa fill the crisp air. The fast-paced summer days have gone, but the nourishing and nurturing days are totally in. It’s no wonder most animals hibernate, load up on foods, and rest for these darker, cooler seasons. Much like animals, our human bodies are similar, telling us it’s OK to move at a slower pace and to load up on hearty foods that heat up our system and keep us warm and strong as we prepare to rejuvenate again for the spring and summer seasons. Our bodies know exactly what it needs and when our bodies are listened to, we create a healthy mind-body connection, which ultimately makes our spirit happy. Happiness is a term our Danish friends know well, after all, they are known for having the title as “the happiest country in the world”–so, let’s take some of their pointers on how to live the hygge lifestyle.
MAINTAIN A MINDFUL & MINIMALISTIC LIFESTYLE
Hygge doesn’t exactly mean going overboard to make your home and lifestyle as hygge as possible. It’s about spending time in the comforts of the things you have and enjoying the simplicity of it all. Treating yourself to a bottle of vino and a calming bubble bath after a hard day at work or cooking your favorite savory meal for you and a loved one count as hygge. Reminiscing on special moments, or escaping a stormy night by staying warm and dry, or wrapping in a blanket, watching your favorite film are other great examples of hygge. Danes are known to be very modest and less flashy, so no, we are not just talking about doing this all for some Instagram-worthy photos (even though this lifestyle is oh so trendy!). To really understand the concept of hygge is to really take time out for yourself and your loved ones while being totally present.
LET THE ROMANCE COMMENCE!
Candles are a huge Denmark treat and are believed to relax and calm the mind, so it’s no wonder Scandinavian countries are also rumored to be the largest consumers of candles in the world. These natives know that when trying to brace the frigid-dark months, candles bring natural light and warmth to the home. Candles can even heat up the temp between you and your partner or inspire some self-love with a peaceful meditation. Check out hygge-scented candles to add some extra comfort into your home. The scented brewed tea and baked strawberry cake candles are perfect to light up in the morning while enjoying your cup of joy, AKA Joe.
It seems as though loungewear has now become quite a pricey fashion trend, but as I said above, don’t go overboard! I know the idea of looking good while feeling cozy may sound appealing to some, but loungewear is for lounging! Layer-up on your sweats and make sure you have a pair of fuzzy socks and slippers to slid into while sinking into an oversized robe. Your boyfriend’s oversized flannel can also do the trick. The more layers, the better. If you are in the mood for some shopping, Nordic-inspired interiors (think modern Game of Thrones vibe) like candle-sticks, bulky knitted pillows and blankets, and deep color accents are a great part of hygge.
As we wind down on our list, one of the biggest hygge novelties to have is that perfect winter’s night book; full of romance, self-care, and escapism. Attend to your inner imagination, cuddle up, and relax. Books are soulful and meant to be enjoyed during these dark months. Check out our monthly book selection on VINAZINE for some extra inspo.
ENJOY THE OUTDOOR ELEMENTS
As much as we love to hygge indoors, there’s much to hygge outdoors. Build a fire, go apple picking, play in the snow! A hygge lifestyle is about enjoying life’s little moments, including earthy sights, sounds, and smells of nature. If you’re lucky enough, hygge cuisine is big on cooking fresh meals, use what’s in your garden! Winter herbs like thyme can survive the colder season and veggies like potatoes, carrots, and turnips are seasonally available, perfect for a hearty soup! Indulge in the elements and make do with the wonderful things that are available to you. Just because the cold is here doesn’t mean your life has to stop. Take it easy and enjoy your winter’s sanctuary the hygge-way!
P.S. Hygge can be celebrated year-round. Lighten your linens for the spring and get your fingers dirty in your blossoming garden. Stir up some freshly squeezed lemonade this summer and invite your vinas over for a terrarium-creating date. Be one with the seasons. Here’s to living our best lives.
Looking to enhance your hygge lifestyle? Check out Hey! VINA and meet cozy and simplistic vinas in your area!