Hygge, pronounced "hue-guh", is translated as the Dane’s word for “cozy” in the interior design community, but it is most used by Danes as the word for acknowledging a special feeling or moment. Whether with friends or alone, it’s about being aware of a good moment, such as when you’re drinking tea out of your favorite mug or enjoying the glow of a candle during your meal.
Denmark frequently tops lists of the happiest countries in the world, in surveys conducted by the United Nations, so they must be doing something right. With monotony setting in while we’re sheltering in place, we could definitely use a new method to revamp our summer. So how do you practice hygge? Here are a few ways to start.
Enjoy candle-lit dinners
Make candle-lit dinners an everyday thing rather than just for special occasions. The soft lighting will create an intimate atmosphere and help reign in your thoughts so you can be present and enjoy the meal before you.
Have consistent (virtual) dates with loved ones
Schedule time once a week or month to catch up with friends and family. By putting something concrete on the calendar, you'll be more likely to stick to your goal and remember to carve out that catch-up time.
Declutter your space
A hygge home is one based on a space that makes you feel happy and safe. You’ll feel instantly more relaxed if you’re not having to navigate around the piles of clothes and stacks of knick-knacks.
Make breakfast with somebody
Start off the day with a nutritious (or not) meal made and consumed with a loved one. Meik Wiking, the CEO of the Happiness Research Institute of Copenhagen, explains hygge “is about an atmosphere and an experience, rather than about things. It is about being with the people we love”. So rather than concentrating on what you make, concentrate on the happiness it brings you to cook with someone you care about.
Remember that the end goal is to be relaxed and to create good, cozy moments in our currently slightly chaotic lives. If you’re not enjoying yourself, you’re doing it wrong. But you’ll know when you’re doing it right. Let us know what your favorite hygge methods are!