This Danish lifestyle trend that will have you embracing winter.
If you haven’t already heard of “hygge”, you’ll have difficulty missing it over the coming months. With several books on the trend being published this autumn, hygge (pronounced “hoo-gah”) sums up the Danish art of living cosily. But it’s also much more than that. Not only do Danes consistently come out on top of national happiness surveys, but living the hygge philosophy, means more time with family and friends, savouring a slice of cake without guilt, and switching off from work emails. Hygge is a subtle notion, you may only realise that you’ve experienced hygge in hindsight when you think back to an afternoon at the pub by the fire with good friends, the perfect hot chocolate you drank whilst wrapped in a blanket on the sofa, or walking through an autumnal park marvelling at the colours and feeling snug in your new coat. It’s like a warm glow that feels comforting and familiar which you can experience during even the most prosaic everyday rituals. Being appreciative of the little things, the small moments of joy that pepper the day, generally makes for a more upbeat approach to life.
With the nights drawing in, embracing the hygge way is the perfect foil to a world where rapid responses are expected and a constant ‘on’ mentality is commonplace.
How to hygge? Firstly, getting into the Danish way of life will take some brain training. Over recent years, the clean eating trend has all but taken over our lives. We’ve come to see deprivation as a reason for self-congratulation. But ask a hygge devotee, and she’ll say that it’s the enriching, little luxuries, the simple pleasures in life, and prioritising people over things that matter. Put simply, it’s less about cutting elements out of your life – and more about adding emotions, experiences and happiness into your daily existence.
So hygge followers eat real, nourishing food, they burn scented candles, take long baths, prioritise ‘me’ time – and aren’t afraid to snuggle up for no other reason than it makes absolute sense to do so in the autumn and winter. You could make a chai latte from scratch and fill the kitchen with aromatic spices, dedicate a certain time each day to sitting in a cosy corner and reading, slow cook a casserole with seasonal ingredients, or treat yourself to a beautiful new colourful scarf to get you excited about going outside and getting your vitamin D fix when the sun does shine.
Take your time, enjoy the moment and happy hygge-ing.