The Sandinavian comfort tradition of hygge (pronounced Hew-gah) is getting quite a bit of attention this year. Recently named one of Collins Dictionary’s top 10 words of the year, the term is growing in popularity, especially leading up to the winter months.
Hygge is difficult to define, but loosely translated it means taking pleasure from the presence of gentle, soothing things. Once you experience hygge you’ll realize it’s more than just a term. It’s a lifestyle that the world’s happiest countries embody and something we could all embrace to infuse a little more joy into our lives.
To experience hygge one must learn to slow down and find pleasure in everyday occurrences from chores to gatherings with friends. At the heart of the concept is authenticity. This lifestyle is about being present to take in all of the little, real moments life has to offer.
Is it possible that a simple comfort tradition can create so much happiness? Give it a try!
- Leave work on time and dedicate an entire evening to your loved ones. Spend uninterrupted, quality time with family laughing, cooking and playing games.
- Enjoy a quiet evening reading…and not on your tablet or phone. Read a real book, one where you have to turn the pages and smell that nostalgic book smell.
- Set the table using your fine china for an intimate meal with friends. Add fresh flowers and candles for a cozy centerpiece.
- Splurge on a pair of cashmere slippers to put on your feet during the cooler months. Wear them around the house on chilly winter nights.
- Build a fire then curl up with a cup of hot cocoa. Spend time by yourself or with someone special just being still, soaking in the comfort and warmth.
- Slow down at dinner. Take the time to cook meals on weeknights and be sure to truly savor every bite of your food from start to finish.
- Design a cozy corner in your living room equipped with an extremely comfortable chair, soft throw blanket and fluffy pillow. It’ll be the perfect place to recharge and de-stress.
- Frequent a local coffee shop with friends. Find a quaint place where you can linger while talking over steaming hot mugs of coffee or tea.
- Sleep in on Saturday and make a real breakfast. Include comforting treats like cinnamon rolls, eggs and sausage.
- Spend time outdoors taking a long walk or bike ride. Bundle up in your favorite scarf and jacket on those chillier days.
Want to learn more about hygge? Read our article, “Hygge: Living the World’s Most Comfortable Tradition.”