Great Danes: How to Get a Little Hyggelig This Winter
Year after year, Denmark tops the list of happiest countries in the world. Part of the reason for that is that Danes know how to make the most of whatever the seasons throw at them. While Denmark isn’t exactly famed for its good weather, people squeeze the most out of their short summers and have mastered the art of cultivating coziness once winter rolls around.
Better known as Hygge, this concept of creature comforts and nourishing your sense of wellbeing is central to Danish life. Here are some ways you can bring a little Hygge into your life this year.
Light in the Dark
As nights close in, the light gets lower and the weather gets colder, it can be easy to feel like life’s a little dreary. But there’s one easy way to create a cozy sense of home no matter where you are. Light a candle. The Danes love lighting candles so much that they actually burn through more candle wax than any other country in Europe. Give it a try!
Share the Hygge
Spending too much time alone can be a huge factor in depression and anxiety, which is why the Danes place so much value on spending quality time at home with friends. With shorter working hours and an enviable work-life balance, in Denmark there really is the leisure time to get together with friends and make the most of that cozy feeling. Invite some friends over and enjoy each other’s company around a warm fireplace for a true Hygge experience.
Eat, Drink, and Be Cozy
Delicious and satisfying food and drink are central to the Hygge philosophy. Food not only brings friends together to cook and eat, it makes them feel warm and contented, in other words hyggelig. This is definitely no time for diets. Instead, eat, drink, and be cozy this winter and you’ll find yourself licking your lips in anticipation of those long evenings in.
The Simple Life
Although we’d probably all love to retreat to our own wood cabin to truly embrace the concept of Hygge, it’s important to remember that Hygge is not about having the finest things in life but more about appreciating simple pleasures: friends, food, community, companionship, coziness. Partaking in a family board game, or appreciating the intense aroma of your morning coffee are both hyggelig activities. Try to live in the moment and notice the small things to really understand the homely sensation of contentment that Hygge epitomizes.
Create a Hygge Emergency Kit
When you’ve had one of those days and all you want to do is crawl under your comforter and disappear, it’s time to crack out the Hygge Emergency Kit. Your Hygge Emergency Kit should contain woolen socks, some hot chocolate, some candles, and perhaps a great novel. Add personal touches—things which make you feel particularly relaxed like a favorite record or some incense. Like a true Dane you’ll soon be ready to face the world again after you’ve re-energized with some quality Hygge time.
The Little Book of Hygge
The Little Book of Hygge
- 10 min reading time
- audio version available
If we approach this winter like the Danes, by injecting some Hygge philosophy into our lives, we’ll soon find ourselves looking forward to those chilly days and long nights. With your Hygge Emergency Kit and close friends around you, you may find winter becoming your favorite time of year. Light a candle and enjoy!