We are the biggest fans of a cosy night in so when we heard about the new lifestyle trend that was all about getting snug we we're the first ones to clue ourselves up. With work, the weather and life in general getting us all a bit glum we decided it's time to get happy. So where do we look for all the answers? From one of the happiest countries in the world… Denmark. Their big secret to big smiles? Hygge.
The concept of Hygge is as hard to define as it is to pronounce (say it like Hoo-ga). It’s about learning to take a break from our busy lives. We all need to take some time to stop being stressed, stop making plans and stop overthinking. The Danish word is usually translated into English as ‘cosy’. The concept is to make your everyday life that little warmer and more relaxing, you just need to learn to become an expert in the art of cosiness. The theory is that is we learn to treat ourselves better, we will feel better… makes sense right?
Something as simple as lighting a candle can make an ordinary moment Hygge. The atmosphere is the most important thing, not the task in hand. Create an atmosphere that relaxes you and encourages only happy thoughts. We love to treat ourselves to a scented candle or two around the bath tub on a Sunday night, but Denmark is lit up by candlelight. The Danes have even taken to lighting candles on their desks. This apparently makes them less stressed, enjoy their day more and increases their productivity.
However, the thing we love most about this way of living is that they always allow themselves to enjoy life’s little indulgences… and what do we love to indulge in? Food, of course. There’s no calorie counting or denying yourself the things you love. If a mug brimming with hot chocolate (cream and marshmallows also recommended) before bed is going to take you to you happy place, then go for it! This attitude towards food has actually had the opposite effect to what you might think, Denmark is actually one of the healthiest nationalities. They indulge, but only ever in moderation… not a single yo-yo diet in sight.
Hygge isn’t just about spending a small fortune on tea lights and eating a slice of cake whenever the mood strikes. It’s a state of mind. It’s about learning to enjoy the simple pleasures in life. Whether that’s sliding between fresh sheets or having an evening in alone to do whatever your heart desires. Knowing when to take a little ‘me time’ is essential to being happier.
So get cosy... throw on your softest pjs, snuggle under the biggest throw you have, light a candle, sit in front of a fire, read a book or watch your favourite film... have a real moment of Hygge.