Danish way of living: HYGGE

I was loving this concept for a while now, and trying to find the energy to write about it for weeks now. It’s called Hygge, and you will love it. Denmark is cold, so this concept is more for winterly times. You can hack it in summer too, but first, winter.

We all seek many things in life: love, success, social incline, promotion, and happiness. Danish people are all about happiness. After finding a book on this, I started searching.

 

Hygge (pronounced hue-guh not hoo-gah) is a Danish word used when acknowledging a feeling or moment, whether alone or with friends, at home or out, ordinary or extraordinary as cosy, charming or special.

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Hygge (or to be “hyggeligt”) doesn’t require learning “how to”, adopting it as a lifestyle or buying anything. It’s not a thing and anyone telling you different either doesn’t understand it or is literally trying to sell you something that has nothing to do with the concept. You can’t buy a ‘hygge living room’ and there’s no ‘hygge foods’ to eat.

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Hygge literally only requires consciousness, a certain slowness, and the ability to not just be present – but recognize and enjoy the present. That’s why so many people distill ‘hygge’ down to being a ‘feeling’ – because if you don’t feel hygge, you probably aren’t using the word right.

While there’s no one English word to describe hygge, several can be used interchangeably to describe the idea of hygge such as cosiness, charm, happiness, ‘contentness’, security, familiarity, comfort, reassurance, kinship, and simpleness.

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By creating simple rituals without effort {such as brewing real tea with a little china cup every evening to stopping at the flower shop every week} the Danes see both the domestic and personal life as an art form and not every drudgery to get away from. They incorporate hygge into their daily life so it becomes a natural extension rather than a forced and stressful event.

So whether it’s making coffee a verb by creating a ritual of making it every morning to a cosy evening in with friends where you’re just enjoying each others company to the simple act of lighting a candle with every meal, hygge is just about being aware of a good moment.

It is a national manifesto, an obsession expressed in the constant pursuit of homespun pleasures involving candlelight, fires, fuzzy knitted socks, porridge, coffee, cake and other people.

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Sitting by the fire on a cold night, wearing a woolly jumper, while drinking mulled wine and stroking a dog – probably surrounded by candles. That’s definitely hygge.

Eating home-made cinnamon pastries. Watching TV under a duvet. Tea served in a china set. Family get-togethers at Christmas. They’re all hygge too.

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All these photos makes you feel warm, right? That’s hygge. And I’ll tell you how to start.

Light up some candles

Get yourself soft socks

Make yourself hot chocolate with marshmallows

Organize a dinner with friends at home

Use wood as much as you can at home

Treat yourself with some sweets, chocolate…

Share opinions, be respectful

Ditch the electronics, be present

Create a safe place at home with pillows and soft blanket

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Essentials

Have a box filled with hygge essentials. In need of cosines, use it! Need some inspiration?

  1. Candles
  2. Good quality chocolate, one piece per day or per week to appreciate
  3. Your fav tea, mine is white tea
  4. You fav book, that makes you forget the world and disappear in between pages. Put it in the emergency kit for hygge evenings.
  5. Woollen socks
  6. Music, casettes and old music would be more hygge but spotify and iTunes have cosy playlists
  7. A notebook, a hygge journal that you can note down cosy, happy moments.
  8. A nice blanket
  9. Paper and pen, old is nice. As someone who uses analogue film cameras and have a boyfriend who has cassette player and many cassettes, we believe that the future is analogue. I sometimes write letters to him and friends and family. Take time to write a handwritten letter. Tell them you are grateful.
  10. A photo album, all those photos you take, why don’t you choose from them and print. Psychical interaction is more happy, cosy and hygge.

 

How to dress like Hygge

Danish fashion is sleek, minimalistic, elegant.

Scarfs: It’s a must. Both men and women should use it. The bigger the better.

Black: Denmark is like a ninja movie. Everyone wears black. “You want to aim for a look that would be fitting for Karl Lagerfeld’s funeral” says Meik Wiking, author of the book “The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well” Stylish and monochrome.

Wool: It is real and it keeps you warm. Hand-knitted wool sweaters, jumpers, pullovers with black leggings. That’s cosy.

Layers: The key to survive changing weather in one day is layers. Coat outside, sweatshirt inside.

Casual hair: Wake-up and go. Maybe a bun? Higher the better.

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How to buy! 

Link purchases with good experiences. So the purchase reminds you of something that was an important accomplishment, good memory, friends etc… Save to buy, but wait until you have that really hyggelig experience. You want to be reminded of it when you pull them on.

FOOD

Marshmallows, tea, coffee, treats, chocolate, sweets, cakes.

I want to share four recipes from this lovely book you can try that are super hyggelig. Excuse my fingers and the bad photo quality.

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People spend so much time working in the office. 

How do you make office hours more hygglige? Candles and cakes, for starters. Think making things more casual and cosy. Could we put a couch for people to use when they have long reports to read? Organize your coworkers to bring food one day in every month where everyone can bring different home cooks and have an open menu. You can all share opinions and hygge over food.

 

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Let me know if you have questions. I hope I was good at expressing myself.

This is the book:

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Aleyna

 

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