AlexandraDiona-AShinyDay-Hygge
LIFESTYLE, WELLNESS

Hygge : What is it and how to achieve it

Picture this : It’s January, it’s 5 degrees outside, and you are curled up in front of the fireplace with a cat on your lap, listening to relaxing music and drinking hot tea. This is hygge. In this article, I will talk about a concept I discovered about a year ago that seems to fit my lifestyle perfectly. Who knows? This might also, inspire you to change some small details of your daily life in order to enjoy the magic of Hygge too.

But what is Hygge? 

Roughly translated, I would say that hygge is anything cozy. A comfy warm atmosphere that makes us feel happy. It’s a favorite concept of Danish culture and if you have traveled to Denmark or any neighboring Scandinavian countries, you will have already got a taste. So Hygge comes from Denmark, the same country that has an institute of Happiness.

The first time I came in contact with Hygge was in September 2019. Spyros’ father gave me a book about Hygge and the truth is that we were all impressed with the aptness of this gift. He usually gifts me large volumes of world history, which are of great interest, but unfortunately I can not read any book weighing more than 10 grams,  material and content included. But this time he succeeded!

Back to our subject. this book introduces you to the Danish mentality and the concept of Hygge with details and examples. Once you learn the basics of Hygge, all you have to do is travel to its hometown. And so it happened. A few months later we visited Copenhagen, where we saw living examples of the philosophy we read all about. I was very pleased when I realized that we had already created our own Hygge world in our humble home. In fact, I think Hygge should be synonymous to A Shiny Day. Is this a stretch?

Hygge is creating a lovely, warm atmosphere at home, being in calm state of mind, avoiding unnecessary tension and taking care of our body and mind. In just a few seconds, I will list some tips and examples for you to understand. Maybe you already embrace some of these practices and maybe you will get inspired to enrich your personal Hygge world.

Hygge doesn’t describe just a moment, but a more general way of life, the way we have decorated our space or the way we dress.

Hygge > Keywords : 

  • Light
  • Warmth
  • Love
  • Comfort
  • Calm
  • Balance
  • Nature
  • Enjoyment
  • Gratitude

Pronunciation : 

Hygge is pronunced Hue-guh. In this video you can learn all about the correct pronunciation, but I make do with just pronouncing it (H) ueguh with a light “H” at the beginning, like an exhale.

What is hyggeligt?

Hyggeligt is something like an adjective. Like you could say : “That’s so hyggeligt!”

Hygge decor : 

To have a cozy, warm and balanced living space, you can pay attention to the following details :

  1. Choose earthy colors and warm tones that make you calm, such as brown, light pink and terracotta. Avoid bright colors on the walls. Let’s not paint a wall lime green.
  2. Bring nature into your space, by decorating with plants. Attention: Only if you promise to take care of them.
  3. Choose wooden furniture and objects, as much as you can. Wood gives intimacy and warmth to the space.
  4. Decorate your space with warm fabrics, such as curtains or throws for the sofa and beautiful pillows.
  5. Place low-intensity luminaires in strategic parts of the house for a calm atmosphere. Avoid very strong light bulbs when not needed (eg reading, crafts, etc.)
  6. Candles are the No. 1 Hygge item and I think you can understand why. When the sun starts setting, light 2-3 candles. Trust me, this small flame is the best relaxant.

Dressing hygge : 

Danes, proponents of comfort and relaxation, have incorporated Hygge into the way they dress. To feel closer to their philosophy, you can :

  1. Choose natural fabrics that are gentle to your body and avoid synthetic materials.
  2. Wear clothes in earthy tones and avoid bright colors.
  3. Avoid tight clothes. If possible, avoid squeezing your stomach with tight mid-rise jeans, for example. Wow, I’m suffering just thinking about it.
  4. Make sure that your body is always at a comfortable temperature, depending on the season. If it’s cold, layer up! I’m sure you will be just as stylish. even with 7 layers.

Eating hygge : 

Following the same pattern, eating hygge=care. The most hyggeligt meal is porridge and my personal favorites are banana oatmeal for breakfast and cauliflower porridge for lunch. Which, by a great coincidence, was just prepared by Spyros and I should take a break from writing this article. 45 minutes later: A hyggeligt meal, is warm, soothing and gives us an inner embrace. Same thing that happens when drinking a hot drink. During the winter months, I constantly carrt a warm cup with me to enjoy my favorite herbs.

Hyggeligt senarios : 

  • It’s early in the morning, the sun has just risen and everything is warm and orange. You sit comfortably, while the light bathes you, eatting your warm breakfast with a tender cat on your lap.
  • A calming winter afternoon, filled with crafts that relax you.
  • A quiet night with jazz music from the vinyl player and board games for 2.
  • Movie night in the projector, cats in your arms and a hot calendula drink in your favorite ceramic mug.
  • A spring sunny morning spent taking care of your plants.
  • A small gathering of friends (up to 4 people) for a chill conversation.
  • A walk in nature, in the park or in the mountains.

Do these scenarios sound a bit romantic and impossible to you? And yet, these are real senarios from my daily life. We can all create these relaxing little moments, by giving a little more care and devoting a little more time.

What isn’t hygge : 

  • Terrible, unbearable crowds. A condition in which more than 4-5 people coexist can very rarely be balanced. According to Danes, the ideal meeting number is 3-4 people. Thus, the energy remains concentrated and there is no unfair dissipation. Notice it. Try to connect with your body and see in what conditions you feel more comfortable.
  • Bright and annoying light. In fact, according to die-hard supporters of Hygge, the central ceiling light of a bedroom is also considered unbearable. For example, waking up in the morning in a dark room and turning on the ceiling light is not Hygge at all and I’m sure you understand.
  • In general, any situation that disturbs our balance or calm, is not hygge. Tension, loud voices, annoying sounds and chatter do not belong in the Hygge world.

Conclusion : 

Hygge was an opportunity to share with you some thoughts about my own lifestyle. Especially in the winter and especially these days, I have a great need to live in such an environment where calm prevails and I can absorb energy from small bright moments. As I previously told you, I find many commonalities in my lifestyle and what I share with you, here at A Shiny Day, with Hygge.

After all, whether we call it A Shiny Day or Hygge, or whether we call it coziness, it all comes down to our ability to create conditions of happiness. I hope this article inspired you to look for your own little happiness, which you can name as you wish.

I would love to read your own little rituals about how you create a warm atmosphere in the space you live in and what makes you feel calm and warm.

See you soon,

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