Hygge (pronounced hue-guh, rhymes with cougar) is a Danish word used to describe the feeling of coziness. It is the idea that we can create our own joy by retreating into our own cozy little worlds of fluffy warmth, surrounded by our friends and family, and turn off the scary noise of the outside world. Basically, it is the most perfect thing I’ve ever heard and is seems to be tailor made for these disturbing times. Hygge can be a noun, verb or adjective. That’s because it isn’t a thing, it’s an idea- a concept of how we should live.
Full disclosure- there are aspects of this trend that bother me a lot. I am not blind to the fact that we are at a point in history where we should be uniting and standing up, rather than retreating and doing puzzles while wearing our fluffiest socks. Politics are definitely not a hyggelig topic. But, y’all- living Hygge is so much nicer. It’s warm, and happy. It willingly uses the word fluffy a lot. It is basically my Pinterest Dream Board come to life.
So here’s my suggestion for how to compromise and incorporate the best aspects of Hygge into your life, while still participating in making our communities better places:
- Embrace the Cozy. Light your candles, pull out all of your throw blankets and pillows and make your living spaces as comfortable as possible. Wear your comfiest clothes. Then turn off your electronics and talk to your family. Play games together. Or let everyone choose a good book to settle down with, but let everyone settle down and read in the same room. You’ll save money on your electric bill and you’ll build up your together time skills- as a mom of 2 teenage boys, I appreciate how easy it can be to live together and never really be “together”.
- Enjoy nature. It can be so tempting to hole up inside all Winter, when the days are dark and dreary. Don’t do that. Everyday you should go outside in the sun, even if it seems like it isn’t really there. You don’t have to take grand day trips, just walk over to a park, or sit under a tree for a little while. The important thing is to breathe the air and soak up the sun- this one little action will change the way you look at life-guaranteed.
- Share your life with others. This one is where I disagree with the trend a little bit. Traditionally, Hygge is all about family and friends. But traditionally, entire villages were considered family and friends. Very few places have that anymore. We are all so segregated- by class, by race, by religion. And it’s not okay. If we are ever going to defeat the hatred that is poisoning our communities, we have to come together and create new dialogues with new friends. We need to unite our communities and make them more inclusive. I realize that’s a very simplistic answer to a very large problem but maybe that’s the best way to proceed. If everyone tried to be more open and inclusive in their daily lives, wouldn’t real change occur as a direct result of that?
- Finally, and I can’t stress this enough. PUT on the fluffy socks. If you think that’s silly- if you’ve spent your life resisting the power of fluffy socks, I truly feel sorry for you. You have no idea how much better they can make you feel. It’s such a simple thing, but if I had to choose one thing to give to 50 strangers, it would be socks.
This is a really interesting article from the Guardian that addresses the potential darkside of Hygge. I read it, don’t disagree, but also…the pull of those faux fur blankets and wool socks is just too strong to deny. Travel here to read it.