DYK? 85% of Danes say that they associate candles with hygge! Get a cute Hygge candle here.
Hygge has been trending in the US for the last few years, but if you are wondering what is hygge and how you pronounce it, wonder no more. Hygge is Danish and Norwegian for comfort, coziness, and enjoying the simple things in life (and living it!). Hygge is pronounced “hoo-gah” or “hue-gah”. It always means creating a warm atmosphere and a serene mood, which thus gives one a sense of wellbeing and contentment. A 1957 quote from The New Yorker stated “the sidewalks [in Copenhagen] are filled with smiling, hyggelige people, who keep lifting their hats to each other and who look at a stranger with an expression that indicates they wish they knew him well enough to lift their hats to him, too.” Gosh, I think the current world needs a little more of that, don’t you?
How to Live the Hygge Lifestyle
Living hygge is easy, and that’s the beauty of it. It’s about creating a warm, cozy habitat like your bedroom, living room, office…your whole apartment or house, really. It’s about organization and simplicity. Absolutely warm and inviting – a place you can’t wait to come home to – and most likely won’t want to leave. It’s a cold, rainy day with a fireplace crackling, warm socks, comfy clothes, and hot cocoa (or tea… or toddy).
Get Rid of Clutter
Remember Marie Kondo, the Nexflix sensation, and her book Tidying Up with Marie Kondo? The Japanese lifestyle consultant was onto something before hygge started trending in America, but nonetheless, she is a fabulous resource for living a simple life by getting rid of clutter. But, sometimes that’s easier said than done. Here’s are a few high-level tips on how to get rid of clutter to start your hygge journey on the right foot:
- Start with one room at a time. If you are feeling overwhelmed, do one room a day
- In that room, put everything in its “home” – for example, if you have bills and magazines lying on the kitchen counter, consider investing in a hanging mail organizer. This is the one I have in my entryway at the front door. You could also place it in your office (from kohls.com)
- Declutter your closets. Donate or sell anything you haven’t worn in the past year. You’re most likely not going to wear it next year, either. Great places to sell are: Poshmark (use my invite code: mishmashm to get $10 for free), and ebay.com.
Add Hygge Decor Items
The key to creating a hygge living space is incorporating plush, comfy fabrics like fluffy pillows and thick, soft blankets. You’ll also want to bring the outdoors, in, with plants and flowers. Of course, real is ideal, but if you’re like me, you probably can’t keep them alive for longer than a day.
Incorporate Hygge Recipes
Do as the Danish do and keep it simple in the kitchen. Don’t slave over cookbooks with (while absolutely delicious) elaborate recipes, instead, create meals that only require a few ingredients such as an easy, hot soup or roast chicken with veggies, or even just a glass of warm wine (or cider). Even better, eat or drink while you relax in front of your fireplace. Don’t have a fireplace? Fake it with one of these.
Read More, Phone Less
While your cozied up with your hot cocoa next to the fireplace, why not add a book or favorite magazine to the mix? Put your phone done for an hour and decompress… no news, no drama, no “noise”.. just you escaping reality for a few minutes or hours at a time. Or, if you don’t feel like reading, binge your favorite shows or movies. This will help relax you as well.
Whether it’s for a short walk, hike, or long run, try to get outside for at least 20 minutes each day if you can. Hygge promotes a healthy lifestyle, and when coupled with exercising outdoors, benefits not only your body but mind as well.
Leave Work on Time, and Leave Work… at Work!
Off work at 5? Then leave at 5. Have a ton of work that still needs to get done? Leave it for the next day. Do not take work home and work at home (or, if you work remotely, shut off your computer and resist the urge to keep working). Of course, I realize the realities of this, and we’ll talk about that in my How to Create a Hygge Office Life, but until then, simply prioritize your tasks, deadlines, and if you need more time, don’t be afraid to speak up for yourself! Oh, and if you have earned PTO, take it!
These are just a few simple tips for living a hygge life. If you have a special way of incorporating hygge in your life, be sure to share it with us in the comments below!