We’re barely into 2017, and Hygge is already being adopted as the new buzzword of the year. But what is hygge? Is it an Instagram flat lay? Is it Ikea’s new range? Fear not, we’re here to introduce you to the Danish lifestyle trend and how you can incorporate it into your everyday life.
So what exactly is Hygge?
Hygge, in short, is the Danish lifestyle concept of everything offering “comfort and contentment.” 2017’s interpretation offers many a Pinterest board of minimal, but cosy living rooms full of shaggy carpets, bedrooms decorated with enough pillows to form another mattress and of course, flat-lays right, left and centre of coffee and pretty stationary.
But the concept of Hygge works beyond mere aesthetics – it’s supposed to represent anything that brings happiness into a person’s life – be it spending time with family, or indulging a piece of tasty cake. It turns the mundane everyday activities – such as preparing lunch or making a cup of coffee into something special and symbolic.
One notable aspect to the modern day portrayal of Hygge is the absence of any sort of technology – from tablets to televisions. The Danish may just be onto something there too with heavy smartphone use being linked to depression.
It’s a pure concept – and one that’s designed to help put you back in touch with yourself.
So how does one take part in this modern-day meditation movement? It’s simple: do what you enjoy.
Read a Book
When was the last time you consciously made an afternoon out of reading a book? Life is so fast paced, it’s not surprising people forget to just stop, take stock and stay in one place for a moment. There’s no winners for constantly going out – swap out your Sunday brunch for an afternoon wrapped up in your cosiest pyjamas, reading the latest page-turner.
Make a Family Dinner
Get the ingredients. Invite the in-laws. Set the table. Light the candles. Make your feast from scratch. Find the joy in exploring recipes, and planning an absolute scran for your nearest and dearest. For ultimate Hygge vibes, opt to make something dangerously indulgent and homely – such as mac and cheese, or a good hearty helping of Shepard’s pie.
Don’t, obviously, get lost in somewhere you’re not familiar with. That may sound contradictory, but what we mean is, take a turn down a hidden lane in your local neighbourhood, not the country you’ve just landed in for the first time in your life. You never know what you may find at the end of it – a vintage store of relics gone past, a tea-specialist cafe or even an old-school comic book store.
Explore the Wilderness
Go out and conquer the great outdoors – from nature reserves to even your local park, getting up, out and some fresh air will do you the world of good. Walking briskly will help to release endorphins, making you instantly happier. Keep your eyes open for beautiful knick knacks – a pine cone, or pretty stone. Look for flowers to press. Take in the beautiful of the ruggedly handsome wide world.
Make a Den
Not keen on the great outdoors? Make an indoor haven. For a relatively small cost, invest in cost throws, pillows, candles and fairy lights to take your living room or bedroom from clinical to cosy quickly. After all, you’re going to need somewhere sufficiently comfy to read all of your new books, aren’t you?
Nothing brings greater joy than a job well done. Creating something can be a very cathartic experience – and allows you to focus on the task at hand rather than any worries or problems you have running through your mind. Take up macrame, knitting or even painting and lost yourself the food for the soul – creativity.
Reach Out to a Friend
Haven’t spoken to a friend from school in years? Fell out of touch with your old uni pals? Take the first step and reach out to meet up for a coffee or cocktail. Often, when too much time passes, people can feel awkward about getting in touch for fear of rejection. Take the plunge – you will be pleasantly rewarded. Besides, true friendship can always stand the test of time.
What will you be doing to bring more Hygge into your life in 2017? Share your top tips with us in the comments!