Saturday, 27 August 2016

What is Hygge (& 12 Ways To Hygge)

What is Hygge (& 12 Ways To Hygge) |
I've found my new obsession. Hygge.

Hygge is a Danish word and concept that does not easily translate into English. Pronounced (sort-of) like 'hoo-gah', the closest word we probably have is 'cosy'. But oh, it's so much more than that. It can be defined as:
What is Hygge (& 12 Ways To Hygge) - Hygge Definition |
You know those lovely things about autumn and winter? The chunky knit sweaters and oversized scarves, open fires and hot chocolates, family gatherings and board games, crisp air and crunchy leaves. That content feeling where you're appreciating the little things and being kind to yourself? That. That is Hygge.

Hygge is most definitely not those cold, wet and dark morning walks to work, spending the day with damp socks, and then leaving work and oh yes it's dark again and still raining. No. But then getting in to your cosy house and lighting a few candles and having a warm bath, then snuggling up on the sofa with more candles and a fluffy blanket and a film - Hygge.

This is more than just a word to the Danish - it's a way of living. And they're obviously doing something right as they are the happiest country in the world. Even with their 17 hours of darkness a day in the depths of their winter.

I'm totally sold on the idea. And as someone who struggles for motivation through winter, Hygge is something I will definitely be trying this year.

Here's 12 ways you can make your winter a little more hyggelit:

1. Books

Nothing screams cosiness more to me than curling up in an armchair with a good book. Purchase a couple of new ones or work your way through your reading list this winter, while the rain is hitting the window and the fire is blazing.

2. Candles

Candles. My favourite way to bring some calm in to my room. And here's your excuse to buy a couple more. (I definitely have these Christmassy scents on my list.)

3. Pubs

Find a proper British country pub with a roaring fire and grab a few friends for a weekend drink. Bliss.

4. Baking

Is there anything better than eating warm cookies shortly after coming out of the oven? Bake a gingerbread house, or ice some christmassy biscuits with your siblings or friends and then tuck into them (without the guilt).

What is Hygge (& 12 Ways To Hygge) |

5. Hot Chocolates

I LOVE hot chocolate. I consume more hot chocolate in the winter months than is probably healthy. I really want to try some different recipes this year such as this sea salt one and this French hot chocolate.

6. Baths

And here's your excuse to take a trip to Lush and stock up on your bath supplies. A bath is such a great way to unwind and relax and be content.

What is Hygge (& 12 Ways To Hygge) |

7. Autumnal Walks

Coming from the countryside, I adore long walks across fields, along rivers, next to the sea. When the weather cools down, the air becomes crisp, and the leaves start changing colours - that's the best time to wrap up warm, grab a dog (preferably your own or with permission) and go for a long, peaceful walk.

8. Board Games

Another key part of the Danish concept is spending time with loved ones. Make some time to have fun with friends or family, turn off your phones and have a laugh with a game of Pictionary, Cluedo, Monopoly or some card games.

9. Cooking

Winter is a great time to perfect your cooking skills and try some recipes you've really wanted to. No one wants to be sweating over a stove in summer. Cook up a storm with some soul-warming meals such as slow cooker chunky beef and potato stew and parmesan roasted cauliflower. Also, roast anyone?!

What is Hygge (& 12 Ways To Hygge) |

10. Music

Anyone else 100% ready to whack out the Christmas playlist or just me? There's some songs that are just the epitome of hygge to me. I love putting a playlist on in the background of my favourite chill out songs while I do uni work or even tidying my room. It makes even the boring tasks a little bit more enjoyable.

11. Stargazing

Stargazing is so much better in the winter months, as it's actually dark. On a clear night, grab someone you love spending time with, some blankets, a flask of hot chocolate or soup and go stargaze and spot some constellations.

12. Winter knits

I have too many scarves and jumpers yet every autumn I seem to stock up on yet more. There's nothing better than a comfy sweater and an oversized scarf keeping you warm against the chill of a wintery, December morning.

What do you think of Hygge? Does it make you as excited for the winter months as I am?

Hannah Lane

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