The danish concept ‘hygge’, pronounced ‘hue-guh’, is about the feeling we get when we create a sense of cosiness, warmth, connection and wellbeing. Hygee is a pursuit of everyday happiness; the art of savouring simple pleasures on a daily basis. Whilst enjoying a ‘hyggelig’ moment, the danish seek comfort whilst slowing down and paying attention to what makes them feel open hearted and more alive.
I believe that hygge is not a lifestyle that we can buy, but something we can take our own values and ideas from, with the notion to incorporate more happiness into our lives. After my own exploration into how the happiest nation on earth live, I have taken away valuable lessons that I feel could benefit us all.
Here are 5 simple but valuable ways we can create wonderful hygge moments in our own lives
1. Spend quality time with those that you love most
Togetherness is a big element of Hygge, and the Danish are very good at making time for those that they care most about. They set a date in their diary and they all come together to eat a hearty meal, and enjoy each others company. The expert on Danish hygge culture, Jeppe Trolle Linnet said “Considering family togetherness seems promising for understanding hygge in its most basic form. When we refer to hygge, we are using the concept of home and family to think with”
The togetherness with those that you love brings about a deeper connection, as you know that the company that you are with love you, and you are safe to be yourself.
The Danish time for hygge togetherness tends to involve food that is comforting and enjoyable. It is perfectly okay to indulge yourself whilst having a ‘hyggelig’ time, as this is not a moment to deprive yourself of anything. How wonderful!
“It is through hygge that we find and build really strong relationships with other people. There is an effortlessness in hygge, which means that we can be together with friends and family without having any plans besides relaxing and enjoying a good time together. We dare to be who we are in each other’s company, and this affirms us that we have stable relationships in our lives, meaning we will never stand alone.”
― Christian Bjørnskov
2. Feel comfortable with yourself and your choices
In Denmark, being comfortable with who you are and being at peace with oneself is a highly respected attribute. A person that can truly trust in themself and be comfortable in their own skin suggests stability, without relying on the attention or validity from other people. This is an important characteristic to possess for living a happy and contented life.
“The common form of despair is not being who you are.”
― Søren Kierkegaard
Hygge is also about the honesty that comes from how we decorate our surroundings and feeling comfortable with our individual sense of style, and the items in which we choose to have in our home. The way in which you decorate where you live, from the art that you have on display, to the family heirloom rocking chair that you cherish, ultimately tell your guests about who you are as a person.
In the book ‘Hygge: the Danish art of happiness’ by Marie Tourell Søderberg, Hygee expert Christina B. Kjeldsen summed this up perfectly when she said “Hygge has a wonderful nature of varying from home to home. The hygge comes when you can feel that the person behind the surroundings is completely comfortable with his or her choices, but at the same time isn’t afraid of decorating intuitively and trying out new things and ideas”
3. Find comfort inside your home
During the long Scandinavian winter months, hygge is about seeking warmth and comfort inside when it is cold and wet outside. The word hygge is associated with our sense of what we think of home; a place where we always feel safe, sheltered and welcome. British interior designer Ilse Crawford says “We still carry within us, in a small warm spot, the idea of home. Home is a safe place, a loving place. A place of comfort and privacy. A place where we can explore our inner life.” The feeling that we get from moments of closeness and comfort in our homes is what epitomizes hygge.
“Hygge involves comfort, cosiness, a sense of wellbeing and a relaxed frame of mind.”
― Judith Friedman Hansen
4. Enjoy the small pleasures of everyday life
The beautiful thing about life is that, despite our daily routines, there is still space left for finding extraordinary moments in the mundane. We inherently know many ways of finding little pockets of joy in our every day lives, like running a hot bath after a long working day, or the coffee brought to us in bed on a Sunday morning by our partner. Hygge isn’t about grand gestures or fancy plans, instead it is about creating time together with family and friends, whilst enjoying the simple things in life. It is in these simple moments that we notice the small and modest pleasures of everyday life that makes ‘hyggelig’ moments so special.
“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”
― Annie Dillard
5. Let go and enjoy the present moment
Hygge is about spending time enjoying the current moment, without any of the unpleasant stresses from our daily lives. To fully embrace a ‘Hyggelig’ moment, we must give ourselves over by completely letting go and fully embracing the present moment.
“It must be emphasized that hygge entails commitment to the present moment and a readiness to set distractions aside.”
― Judith Friedman Hansen
xx KC xx
Katie Craven is a luxury lifestyle brand, based in the Ribble Valley countryside. With design at the heart of the brand, Katie intricately hand illustrates each of her beautiful, classic creations in her signature pen, ink and watercolour style.
Katie’s illustrative prints turn the beautiful and the magical into luxurious pieces of artwork that can be worn, loved, displayed and treasured forever. Her designs are “created with the aim to bring joy and magic to everyday life” and her inspiration is drawn from all aspects of daily living, including small magical moments, daydreaming and the beauty of our natural world. Her inspiration also lies in classic vintage styles from eras past, including work by Victorian designer William Morris “who believed the world could be made a better place through the creation of beautiful things.”
Inspired by Katie’s love of all things beautiful, we are devoted to making exceptional quality stationary and silk scarves that are proudly made in England, created to inspire and encourage the traditions of sending letters and gift giving.
With British luxury at the core of the brand, attention to detail is taken at every aspect of the products journey and we take pride in selecting the highest quality fabrics and paper stocks to ensure the longevity of our luxury collections. Sustainability is at the forefront of everything that we do, therefore all of our greeting cards and paper products are printed on FSC certified card, sourced locally to us in the beautiful Lake District.
Our luxurious silk scarves have been specially created to add a timeless, elegant finish to any look, invoking a sense of beauty and magic whenever worn. We are proud in the knowledge that our scarves are truly beautiful pieces of wearable art, that have been drawn by hand with an exquisite level of detail and printed onto the finest silk twill material, to be loved & treasured forever.
Each Katie Craven design tells it’s own unique story, featuring an illustrated, imaginary world that has been created to incite a sense of joy for life whenever admired.
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