Hygge is a concept which appears here to stay. It first arrived in the UK a couple of years ago and since then seems to be going from strength to strength. Pronounced “hoo-ga” this Danish concept is all about bringing a sense of contentment into your life and enjoying the small and simple things and is particularly apt for the winter season when it can be much more difficult to do this. For me, anything which encourages curling up with a good book under a blanket is a winner…but if you’ve not come across the concept before or you just need some easy tips on how to have more hygge this winter, then read on:-
1. Light some candles
Candles are a really simple way to introduce ambience into your home and are a main part of the hygge culture in Denmark. So turn off the lights, grab that blanket and light a few candles. It will lend a cosy feeling to each room, and you can get candles with many different scents. If candles aren’t your thing, then perhaps a false candle with a faux-flickering light may help create the same sense of atmosphere.
2. Take a walk
Getting outdoors in all weather is a really important part of hygge culture. Although it can be so tempting to hibernate when the weather is cold, there is something so delicious about coming in from a brisk walk to a warm home, especially when you can then throw on your comfiest clothing and curl up. It will also help keep you active, which in itself should bring a sense of wellbeing. I know I always benefit more when I have been outside, even for a short period of time. If getting outside is simply not your cup of tea then consider bringing the outdoors in to you by adding plants to your home. Introducing nature can add a dash of colour to a room and the natural green colours will offer a connection to nature.
3. Cosy up with a book (or a movie!)
Now here is where we really begin to tap into the things I love…I will take any excuse to curl up with a book and get lost in a fantastical world for a few hours. There is nothing like being transported to somewhere else when the rain is lashing down outside. Hygge is all about switching off so if books aren’t your jam then watch a film, play a board game, invite your friends round for a good chinwag; just put down the phone and engage in something else for an afternoon. For the perfect environment, add some soft cushions and throws to your living space, such as one from this great collection at Lionshome.
4. Get social
I already briefly mentioned above the idea of inviting your friends over but I feel this is worth a point on its own. Hygge is the celebration of the simple joys in life and what better way is there than spending time with family and friends? It doesn’t need to be anything complicated; simply opening your home to your loved ones and friends and spending some time enjoying each other’s company is enough. A few hot drinks, some sweet treats and an hour of so of talking and setting the world to rights…what could be better?
5. Slow down
These days we live life at 100 miles an hour but hygge is all about slowing down and savoring. Meals are lingered over, conversations go on just that little bit longer, we spend time relaxing and soaking up the surroundings. There is something so important about just taking time out of our busy schedules to simply be. Believe me, I know it isn’t easy so if you need a tool to help you then use it. I find switching my phone off and doing a 20 minute session of yoga is often just the thing I need (Lionshome have some great yoga accessories) but really it can be doing anything which forces you to stop for a minute or two, and just let the moment last.
Winter can be a really difficult time for many people, and you may find that you need a little extra help. Whether you struggle with mental health issues such as anxiety, SADS and depression or whether you just find it trickier at this time of year, adding a little hygge into your lives may not solve it completely but it could help. You may also find therapy beneficial at this time of year and here is just one way to connect with a therapist or counselor.
Let’s all be a little more hygge and learn to love the simple things. And of course wait for that glorious summer sunshine to roll around again.