Over the past few years, the entire world has become obsessed with ‘hygge’ (pronounced hoo-gah), a uniquely Danish concept that loosely translates to ‘cosiness’, ‘wellbeing’ or ‘togetherness’. As the days get shorter and wetter, and the nights get longer and colder, it’s the perfect time to add a dash of hygge into your life. Here are some tips anyone can try out.
1. Light some candles
Candles are a big part of hygge culture, as they can add both atmosphere and a nice scent to any room. Light ‘em up!
2. Twinkly lights
Bright, harsh lighting is so not hygge. Besides filling the room with lit candles, you can also turn off the main lights and use pretty fairy lights to illuminate your space. It’s the season for it, so nobody will judge you!
3. Think retro
Christmases just felt cosier when we were growing up, didn’t they? Channel your nostalgia into hygge and draw on memories of winters past to create the perfect cosy space for yourself in the present.
At the same time, we’re not suggesting you buy up an entire antique shop – quite the opposite! Clutter can subconsciously make people feel anxious and ill at ease, so now’s a good time to tidy up or clear out all the things that are just uselessly hanging around. You’ll feel much better!
5. Use natural materials
Scandi-style is all about using materials that are as simple and as close to nature as possible, so think about incorporating textures like wood, stone, fur (faux, of course) and wool into your little hygge haven.
6. Get baking
What makes a home feel cosier than the scent of biscuits, cakes or pies baking away in the oven? It’s an instant mood booster, and sharing homemade food with friends is hygge as heck.
7. Invite your friends and family over
Spending quality time with your closest ones is essential to the art of hygge. It needn’t be an elaborate soiree – pretentiousness is the antithesis of the humble hygge. Just a few good snacks (see point number 6), drinks, conversation, music, board games, or a festive film is enough.
8. Hot drinks
Nothing goes down better than a hot drink at this time of year. Whether it’s tea, coffee, chai, green tea, cocoa or a hot toddy with whisky, make sure you sip it slowly and savour it fully.
9. Turn off your devices
We spend so much time glued to our screens that our phones’ batteries aren’t the only thing that’s drained at the end of the day. When you get home, turn off the screen and do something that gives your eyes a rest and engages you physically – knitting, embroidering, drawing, gardening, cooking, going for a run or a walk – whatever you prefer. You’ll feel so much better and more present if you get a break from constantly checking your phone for at least an hour or two.
10. Don’t overdo it
Hygge isn’t a competition about who has the nicest-looking bits and bobs and trinkets. At the end of the day, it’s all about appreciating the moments in life that we’re often too busy to fully enjoy. You can be ultra-hygge just by living fully in the moment and cherishing the simple things.