Ever Heard of Hygge?
As the years come to a close, the nights start growing as the temperature continually falls. During the long and dark winter months of the year, Scandinavians traditionally try to interject as much light as possible into their lives. The exotic festival of light - the Lucia festival, which happens mid-December every year, is just one example of this. Celebrating the festival of light in the last cold quarter of the year is seen in different countries and cultures of the world, though the traditions might vary with regions. As light doesn’t limit its symbolism to just the actual light, it also means comfort, joy, and well-being. It is something that consistently lands the nordic countries on the top ten list of the happiest people on earth. This concept of embracing light and the warmth it brings in the freezing months is called Hygge, and it’s the subtle art of happiness.
In the last couple of years and particularly following the autumn season, I am sure you would have come across a certain word: Hygge. But what in the world does hygge mean exactly? First, let's start with how you say it. Pronounced "hoo-ga," this Danish concept cannot be translated into one single word but encompasses a feeling of cozy contentment and well-being through enjoying the simple things in life.
For me, the last quarter of the year is synonymous with hygge — often translated as a sort of brightening coziness. The cooler weather makes me want to snuggle up with a good book or watch Netflix and veg out under a blanket on the couch as the lamp hanging in corner of my living room warms the atmosphere as the light diffuses gently around. The spreading chill in the air beckons me to take a break, cozy up — and relish the late afternoons. The Scandinavian term encompasses a feeling of coziness, contentment, and well-being found through cherishing the little things.
The History of Hygge
The word hygge dates back to around 1800, at least in the meaning it has today. However, various definitions of hygge can be traced back to the Middle Ages, where a similar Old Norse word meant "protected from the outside world."
Hygge is often about informal time together with family or close friends. Typically, the setting is at home or another quiet location, or perhaps a picnic during the summer months. It usually involves sharing a meal and wine or beer, hot chocolate, and a bowl of candy if children are included. A time spent with no agenda in mind. You celebrate the small joys of life, or maybe discuss deeper topics. It is an opportunity to unwind and take things slow. Feel your presence in this grand existence. Relax.
Hygge is equal to a safe haven
Engage in 'comfort decorating.' The places we spend the most time in have a huge impact on our mindset. "Comfort decorating," says environmental psychologist Sally Agustin, is the practice of de-stressing your spaces and making your home your sanctuary. The color palettes and textures we surround ourselves with can enhance the feel of the space around us. For example, blues create calm and greens elicit creativity; the nude organic textures help us feel relaxed.
Here are some beautiful bamboo lamps that will make your home your sanctuary of coziness.
If you really want to get into the hygge lifestyle, make some tweaks to your home. To start, lighting is key. A well-lit home can make you forget the dreary winter happening just outside your window. Of course, you need some beautiful organic lamps that match your minimalistic vibe.
Lamps should be artfully positioned to create soothing pools of light.
Investing in a good reading lamp or creating a well-lit dining space can encourage added coziness.
These soft and gentle suspended lights will help you create a tranquil look.
Hygge Up: Make your home an oasis of calm
Don't let the mess get in the way of rest. If you're someone who needs a clean house for a clear mind, this episode on creating a cleaning routine is a great place to start. It explains why you should dust before you mop and clean from top to bottom. I feel that squeaky-clean relaxation setting in already.
Here are some sustainable beautiful trays to clear up your clutter and make your space look cozy and warm with natural feels.
And these handmade bamboo baskets will be perfect as well
Taking time to allow yourself to sink into these cozy times of day and creating an environment that encourages relaxation will turn you into a hygge expert. Have fun getting hygge with it! You know…Now that I think about it, just being able to pronounce Hygge correctly brightens my mood. No wonder Scandinavians are so happy! Even the language lifts spirits. 😉Now we want to hear from you! Have you put a little Hygge into your life? Tell us all about it in the comments below!