Hygge: The Art of Coziness
If you're into all things wellness, you check health/fitness/wellness/lifestyle blogs on the daily, then you've probably heard of this new word, hygge. If you haven't, don't worry. We're about to get alllll into it...
Hygge (pronounced hue-gah) is a Danish word that pretty much translates to mean a feeling that comes from making everyday, simple things into pleasurable, meaningful experiences. I've been reading all about this word, since its 2017 debut into the wellness world, as it incorporates a sense of mindfulness and living in the present, something I very much along with. It's really about making the little things count for more than routine tasks. It's about seeing moments such as making a cup of coffee or tea, meeting with friends, reading by the fire, or any other small moment a moment of happiness, coziness and comfort. If you can find contentment and comfort in something, you've found hygge.
Why is it suddenly all over the place? I think one of the main reasons hygge is just sneaking onto the wellness scene is that 2017 has been proclaimed the year of self care and self love, at least in our little realm. People are trading in the 10 mile runs every single day for more yoga and meditation. Everyone is trading wild nights out for enjoying that glass of wine with friends (did anyone notice how NO ONE went out on NYE?). Everyone is living happier, simpler and more mindfully. Everyone is stepping away from the digital age and making personal memories & connections. At least that's the goal. And that's where hygge comes in -- making all the daily, routine tasks like making coffee or dinner, into worthwhile, meaningful moments to share either with yourself, or close friends & family.
That, AND it happens to be winter time. The time to hunker down and get cozy, to break out the candles, sheepskin and wool. When things start to slow down in the winter, and get darker, we tend to become susceptible to mood changes and, well, unhappiness. But hygge is here to bring us out of our winter slumps and embrace all winter has to offer us. A time for small routines to create simple, cozy, happy pleasures.
How can we incorporate it into our routines? Well, good thing its winter over here and we can get cozy up by the fire and snuggle in blankets with tea all day long. The perfect cozy moment, or hygge.
Make routines out of the simple things: Get REALLY into making your morning coffee. I mean adding something a little special to your ordinary latte, something that makes you happy and present. Maybe its some cream, maybe its some cinnamon, maybe its some vanilla bean ghee. Find something simple that makes you feel happy and add it to your routine. And then enjoy every sip of that coffee you made, make it special, make it an art.
Get COZY: A common translation to English for hygge is coziness. It's true, the Danes sought ways to make their cold, long winters more pleasurable, and what better way to do that than getting cozy? Put on your favorite cozy clothes (good thing athleisure is a 2017 trend, too), wrap yourself up in a blanket, and sit by the fire with a cup of tea. Honestly, it doesn't sound like there's a better way to spend a January weekend evening than that.
Candles: You KNOW I love my candles. The soft light they give off, the calming vibe, the scent. Just love 'em. So, to be as hygge-esque as possible, that is, cozy, happy and mindful, get yourself some candles. It's a MUST and will add that soft, happy light to the dark winter afternoons.
Cook: Cook warming, nourishing foods. Cook new recipes (like my warming curry meatballs or bulletproof turmeric latte) . Cook with friends or family for a fun, happy, rewarding experience. Make the routine task of cooking into a mindful and meaningful experience for you and anyone else cooking with you. I love to cook, and I know sometimes I can get into a routine of cooking the same thing over and over again... It gets boring and mindless. One of my goals this year is to up the excitement of my daily meals. To switch it up, find a yummy recipe, go to a local market to get the best ingredients, and cut out a Saturday or Sunday night to settle down at home with some candles & loved ones and make the best meal you've ever had. That's hygge.
Hygge is more than just being cozy or happy. It's more about making connections with activities and people you do daily and living in the present as you do so. It's the best way to live in the moment, in my opinion, and adds a sense of gratitude, pleasure and meaning to our monotonous, 21st century, digital-dominated lives.
I don't know about you, but I'll take any advice from the Danes any day. Beauty, minimalism, health & happiness -- they've got it all.
The Danes made the word a part of their daily routine to be more present in their daily life, and to enjoy the little things, as their long winters dragged on. It really makes sense, honestly. There's no reason we should be flying through our days without feeling present & mindful. For me, hygge is a perfect addition to my 2017 life. Incorporating more mindfulness, happiness, gratitude, coziness and pure comfort. Less racing around, expectations, overthinking. Just living simply!
Hygge can mean whatever you want it to mean. Whatever makes you feel the coziest, most present, happiest, mindful and at peace is perfect -- keep doing that.