Embrace the cosy: how to hygge

  • 07th Jan 20
Embrace the cosy: how to hygge

If you have enjoyed sipping a hot cup of coffee while looking out on cold winter’s day, you have experienced the Danish concept hygge. It was invented to survive the dark days of the harsh climate and used to acknowledge a feeling or moment as extraordinary cosy, charming or special. With so many dark days in Denmark, the simple act of lighting a candle or wrapping up in a soft blanket can do wonders for the spirit.

Hygge for life 
The good news is that you don’t have to learn how to hygge. It’s not a thing that you have to buy or an Instagram picture that you have to share, it is simply about creating rituals without effort. It can be whatever you want to make the winter more bearable. For example, brewing real tea in a little china cup that makes you smile, reading a book wrapped in a fluffy blanket or sketching or doodling while listening to some music.

Candlelight and fires
It’s easy to create a hyggelig atmosphere at home by simply lighting candles. In fact, Danes burn more candle wax than any other country. Choose soothing scents and it will be a treat for your sense of smell too. In the winter months, there’s nothing cozier than curling up by a real fire, although the fake ones can be very effective too.

Hygge at home
It will be very difficult to feel hygge if you are surrounded by chaos. Slowing down and enjoying your surroundings will feel very challenging if you are living in a mess. To create a more peaceful space at home, start with a thorough de-clutter. Get rid of anything that doesn’t add value or isn’t important to you and then you can start appreciating the things that you do have. Hygge is not about acquiring stuff, it’s about enjoying your surroundings, which is impossible if you feel stressed and distracted about piles of clutter. A home that allows you to slow down, relax and feel like your own sanctuary is what you are after for the perfect place to unwind.

Netflix and chill
Are you one of those people that can relax in your jeans? If you want to get out of your clothes as soon as you walk through the door you really need to get yourself a pair of hyggebukser, sweatpants or loungewear that is perfect for flopping on the sofa in. Cosy slippers will complete the look and keep your feet toasty.

 Keep out the cold
You could whack the central heating up but that’s not very hygge or good for the environment or your own health – think sore throat and dry skin. Instead, keep warm by wrapping yourself up in a blanket in your favorite armchair, wear an oversized sweater and thick socks and surround yourself with soft, fluffy cushions.

Food of love
Comfort food and hot drinks are essential in creating those cosy vibes. Sharing simple food with friends and family at home is far more hygge that spending lots of money in a fancy restaurant. Different countries have different rituals; in Denmark expect pastries, meatballs and coffee while in the UK, copious amounts of tea and toast, warming hot pots or sticky toffee pudding and custard will create a lasting memory of a perfect winter’s day.

Watching a film, reading a book or playing a board game can all be described as hygge. Technology is fine but not the constant scrolling or flicking from one thing to another. How many of us settle down to watch a TV show or film and then find we have missed half of it because we got distracted by emails or social media. To hygge is to be in the moment so purposely slow down and focus on one thing at a time. This is not the place for multi-tasking.

Hygge like the Danes

  • Sidelights to subtly illuminate your living space.
  • Swap harsh white beams for warm coloured lightbulbs to add cosiness.
  • Snuggly blankets or throws dotted around the home.
  • Candles or LED candles for those that are concerned about flames with children or pets.
  • Rugs or mats to add extra texture to a room.
  • Bring nature into the home in the form of winter flowers or foliage.
  • Remember to enjoy the simple things in life like a walk in the cold followed by a steaming hot chocolate.
  • Slow down.
  • Listen to music or podcasts and focus on what they are saying.
  • Remember a childhood hobby that you enjoyed and see if you can recreate it.





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