As the days get shorter and the temperature drops, it’s the perfect time to be getting all ‘hygge’. For the uninitiated, hygge (pronounced “hoo-gah”), is a Danish concept that can’t be translated into one single word, but encompasses a state of cosy contentedness and wellbeing through enjoying the simple things in life.
If you’ve ever enjoyed reading a book indoors on a rainy weekend or snuggled up in bed drinking a chai tea on a frosty morning, then you’ve experienced hygge without even knowing it.
In Danish culture, the obsession with all things cosy is believed to be part of why, despite desolately cold winters, the Danes are always up the top of the list of the happiest countries in the world. It makes sense that Canberrans are particularly well placed to embrace this way of life as a way of celebrating, and even revelling in, our cold winters.
There are lots of ways to cultivate hygge: cosy blankets, warming drinks, scented candles, crackling fires, a good book. The Danes like to cultivate a special hygge nook in their homes; a sunny window seat or a seat by the fireplace where you can get super cosy and comfortable. There is also an element of conviviality to hygge that can encompass good conversations, cooking together, gathering with friends and family to bring warmth of companionship into your home.
Whilst Instagram is crazy for hygge and is a great source of visual inspiration, keep in mind no amount of woollen socks or scented candles will make you feel content and cosy if you’re just staring at your phone all day.
Nor is it necessary to buy lots of hygge accessories! Hygge is about embracing the simple things that bring joy into your life, so put on your comfy clothes and dust off that book that’s been on your bedside table for months or invite a friend over for a cup of tea and a catch-up.
In a fast-paced world, embracing the concept of hygge is one very practical and creative way to making space for much needed unwinding, reconnecting and cultivating contentment.