You may - in fact you probably have - heard of the new 'it' word floating about: hygge. I first came across it when I opened Instagram and saw my feed taken over by bloggers and friends posting photos with candles, hot chocolates and The Little Book if Hygge. But what exactly is hygge? And most importantly: how on earth do you say hygge?
I bought The Little Book of Hygge because it resonates with me: I lived in Denmark when I was a child and only have the most fond memories of the country, people and their way of life. I also love cosy atmospheres, candles are my favourite and warm blankets are a must the moment our evenings begin to shorten. Do I paint a picture yet? And what better reading a book about cosiness, with a hot chocolate, snuggled up under atmospheric lighting - the first chapter in the book.
Denmark has consistently come up top in research results when it comes to happiness - but as the Danish themselves will admit, it's not like the country is without its stressed: high tax rates, lack of sunlight, freezing winters... But what is it that makes them so happy? Basically it's their way of dealing with things - and this is exactly what The Little Book of Hygge is about, learning how to make a cosy life that is a haven away from the stress, the cold and the dark. As someone who gets SAD the moment I'm left without sunshine (which is A LOT when you live in the UK), this book felt like my rescue.
I think I've been hyggeligging my house for years: candles, lamps and cosy throws and pillows have graced my living room since I moved into my first house. To me, that is total relaxation and cosiness - which equates to hygge. Homemade bread baking in the oven; close friends and family coming over for an evening filled with wine and cheese - that equates to hygge. Sunday morning walks in the countryside woodlands followed by a roast dinner which I like to cook in my old wooly socks - that is hygge. And a log cabin located in the Scottish highlands, with a fire going, and a cup of tea (or glass of wine) nestled in my hands whilst I watch the fog outside - that is my hygge.
Every individual will have their own ways of getting their hygge on - my understanding that it's the feeling of inner warmth, and safe and calmness from the troubles which the world around us presents. It's a state of mind, as well as surrounding. It's taking the simple pleasures in life and really enjoying them - don't just down the wine but really enjoy the taste; don't scoff the chocolate whilst you're running to an appointment - take the time to indulge when you sit down; be in the moment.
THINGS THAT KEEP MY HYGGE ON:
I would highly recommend the book to anyone who does suffer from SAD, or stress, or just wants to make their home and their lives a little more cosy - chapters talk about lighting, food, occasions, lifestyle and of course how to pronounce hygge. Which by the way is like hoo-ga - or as close as you can get!
How do you get your hygge on? Leave me a comment with your thoughts and ideas for inspiration!