I must admit that I have fallen in love with hygge. Hygge can be defined as the art of intimacy. It’s a Danish concept that focuses on being comfortable and cozy. I heard it for the first time on the TV show Younger, but it was spoken about in a dismissive way. I never could quite grasp what they were talking about or why they’d so clearly written it off. By the end of the episode, I’d mostly forgotten about this term that was thrown out so casually. After all, the characters certainly didn’t think much of it. Then I came across it again in a blog post that listed all the ways of incorporating hygge into one’s life during the winter for a cozy, and frankly enchanting, existence.
Suddenly, I had to know about this thing that seemed to be exactly what my soul craved! I began to read more posts on hygge and to look at pictures that seemed to absorb its essence. But it wasn’t enough just to read about it. I began to look at my own life and see how I might be able to take those same ideas and incorporate them into my life. I looked more closely at my daily activities and even my home to see how I could make hygge a way of life and not just a list of activities for winter.
I realized that to have a hygge sort of home, I would need to get rid of quite a few items that no longer served a purpose. It was time to clean out closets and make a large donation of things that were no longer useful in my life. Only then, could I look at what was left and decide how to make my home a bit more cozy. I could certainly add more candles and more warm blankets. I could hang fairy lights around the room. I could pick up fresh flowers and rearrange my bookshelves. There were so many ways that I could make my home feel as comfortable as the photographs I had come to love.
I could also decide to add more activities to my life that are infused with a hygge vibe. Instead of just putting on a movie, I could have a movie night with my children complete with buttery, warm popcorn, our most comfortable pajamas, piles of pillows and blankets, scented candles lit around the room, and delicious mugs of hot chocolate or spiced apple cider. Instead of taking a casual picnic to the park, I could pack my wicker picnic basket and fill it with scrumptious food. I could pack a blanket to spread on the grass. I could bring a thermos of a hot beverage and pack a kite or frisbee for a little extra fun. There are so many ways to take our normal activities and enhance them.
The hygge life might not attract everyone, but it pulled me in from the start. The aspect of mindfulness that it brings is particularly attractive to me. It’s not just about being snug and warm; it’s about the feeling that an intimate setting can inspire in us. It’s also such a romantic concept, and I don’t mean in a partnered sense. It brings us into the here and now and helps us appreciate the small, beautiful things that make up our lives. We can bring that mindful attention we create in our homes and in our lives and apply it to our relationships. To make them cozy and intimate with our interest and attention.
We can start with hygge in our homes. We can extend it to our cars and our work spaces. We can add it to our activities and relationships. We can let it radiate out to enhance our relationships and make them stronger. We can soak in the cozy vibes and learn to appreciate every moment of our beautiful lives.