When I first started seeing the word Hygge I thought it was just another craze that lifestyle bloggers had fallen in love with. Boy was I wrong!
Hygge (pronounced "hoo-guh") is a wonderful concept coming to us from Denmark, it is about socialising, relaxing and cosiness, Three of my favourite things. Things like reading in front of the fireplace are hygge, going out to a cosy coffee shop with a friend is hygge. Watching a movie with the family all snuggled up in a blanket is definitely hygge.
If you take a direct translation the best attempt is cosiness, but it's definitely more than that. It's a deep part of the culture in Denmark. Everyone knows what it is, takes part in it and benefits from it. It's an attitude and lifestyle choice that will do wonders for your mental health.
In fact, many Danes believe it's why they are the happiest people in the world because they know how to relax and enjoy themselves with good friends, good food, and a good atmosphere. They don't have the need to blow out and overindulge like we do in the UK, they simply get pleasure out of all the comforting things we do each day.
Things like getting lunch at work aren't a hassle, they are a pleasure to be enjoyed. Even drinking, it's all about the social interaction with those around us and enjoying the drink, instead of racing to see who can get the drunkest to forget all the stresses of the day.
Now with Christmas being such a stressful time, what with figuring out what to buy for your great uncle you barely see not to mention the cost of everything, it's time we brought a little hygge to our own lives. The nights are long here and not to mention absolutely freezing so it's the perfect time to stay indoors pull the curtain and chat the night away over a board game with your friends. Discussing all the little and large things in life.
Bring hygge to your home, get yourself a new fluffy duvet, go to bed early and watch TV. In the morning wake up early stay in your Pj's a little longer, relax and enjoy yourself. The morning shouldn't start with a stressed out frantic run around the house getting ready. Take time to make some porridge, it is definitely one of the most hygge things I can think of, enjoy the warm comfort that a bowl of porridge brings and start your day on the right foot.
Even doing work can be hygge, collaborating on a project over a cup of coffee at a cafe can very much Hygge, you're drinking a lovely warm drink, you're talking with a colleague and you're in a comfortable place. Lovely.
It's all about being good to yourself and allowing yourself to enjoy the pleasures around you. So creating a comfortable home that you love to be in is a great step. From there it's all about having a good time with your friends and family, and once you start loving the atmosphere and the situation it becomes less about overindulging in food and drink so your waistline will definitely thank you for it come January!
And remember that the best part of Christmas is being around friends and family, not the expensive gifts we get. So embrace Hygge and be sure to share it with your friends and family this holiday. I think you'll be happier for it.