You know that feeling when the season changes and suddenly the days are shorter and nights are crisp?. You light the fireplace, make a comforting meal and life becomes more about home. Or maybe on a balmy spring afternoon after a picnic in the park, the rain begins to fall and you find yourself sheltered at a warm pub, enjoying a drink and the company of friends. Or that feeling when Christmas is near; walks in the snowy woods and the spirit of generosity and gift giving. For most of my life I called that feeling ‘Cozy’. Little did I know that across the world in the nordic countries, particularly in Denmark, this feeling, this spirit has a name and it is called Hygge (Hoo-Ga).
In North America and where I live in Vancouver, I rarely encounter another person who really enjoys the dark half of the year. I listen as people relentlessly complain about the weather and I nod in sympathy while really, inside, I’m feeling quite excited, warm and fuzzy.
Hygge is defined as: 1.The art of building a sanctuary and community, of inviting closeness and paying attention to what makes us feel open hearted and alive. 2. To create well-being, connection and warmth. 3. A feeling of belonging to the moment and to each other. 4. Celebrating the everyday.
Some say Hygge isn’t something to be defined but rather to be felt and I read recently (and loved) : “It is feeling with the heart”.
Today I want to share some of my photos and my personal list of how I bring Hygge into my daily life and home all year ‘round. I hope to inspire you to do the same.
Jennifer’s 13 tips to Hygge every day
- Spend a few hours or an entire day where you turn off tvs and phones. Enjoy music, journal or play games.
- Cook a nice comforting healthy meal
- Dim lights. Use candles for ambience and to scent the home
- Run a bath with Essential oils, salts or your favourite bubble bath. Create a home spa evening or visit a sauna.
- Walk in the woods. Collect leaves, pine cones or cedar leaves for pressing between books or for making forest potpourri
- Pull out the cook books, read poetry or any book that gives you a feeling of peacefulness and inspiration
- Make a warm or cold drink you enjoy; herbal iced tea, cocoa or a cappuccino
- Make a gift for someone’s b-day or create handmade christmas cards with your photography or children’s art.
- Invite friends or family over for games. Have a candlelit dinner together or enjoy an evening of story telling, playing music or sharing photos. Host a seasonal party like Solstice, Equinox or a full moon tarot night. Christmas movie nights are fun too.
- Make the bed with flannel sheets and fluffy duvets or cool cotton floral sheets in the summer.
- Wear comfy clothes: No belts, jeans, tight clothing or shoes allowed! Put on your coziest robe and socks.
- Fairy lights strewn over armoires, in the kitchen or over the headboard give an instant magical feel to any room.
- Invite gratitude into your daily life. Sit in meditation and find beauty in the little things
Happy Hygge-ing to you all!