Imagine a beautiful Danish summer day, similar to our own, with beautiful blue skies and light breezes coupled with bracing, blustery showers and drizzle. We may have similar weather, but we have different approaches to how we spend our precious summer time. The biggest difference is that the Danes truly embrace the concept of hygge in the summer.
People often associate hygge with cozying up in the depths of winter but hygge is actually ‘the pursuit of everyday happiness’ – and that means summer just as much as winter. Instead of cozy jumpers and candles, summer hygge means enjoying the great outdoors. From paddling in the sea to laid-back picnics with friends or toasting marshmallows on a campfire; this is the time for making memories and enjoying the warmth of the season.
The beauty of summer hygge is that all the best activities can be enjoyed for free – a fun day at the seaside; a glass of wine in the garden; reading a book in the sunshine. It’s all about taking the time to engage your senses and appreciate the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of the long, lazy days and balmy nights.
Hygge can happen at any time, so sit back, relax, and let the summer hygge wash over you. Try out these summertime hygge tips:
10 Ways to Practice Hygge During Summer
1. Go camping or glamping
Set up a tent in your back yard or visit one of our many provincial or national parks. With private and public campgrounds aplenty, there are countless opportunities to be at one with nature and enjoy the summer weather. Looking for a list of fabulous glamping sites here in Nova Scotia? Check out our blog post.
2. Summer bonfire
When I think of hygge in the summer, the image that comes to mind is sitting on a log on the beach, surrounded by family and friends, with a raging bonfire. There’s a gentle breeze in the air, we’re cooking marshmallows, and just having a good chat.
Nothing feels more relaxing to me than that image.
While I know it’s not always safe to have a bonfire, if you are able to safely have a bonfire, it is an excellent way to create hygge, not to mention a wonderful way to spend a summer evening.
3. Watch the sunset (or sunrise!)
Be sure to bring a soft sweater to pull on when the air starts to cool. Once the sun has set, eat under the stars, have a bonfire, roast some marshmallows and enjoy your favorite drinks and conversation with friends.
4. Read outside.
Buy a hammock or a nice lounge chair and take your book outside. Reading itself is a very hygge passtime at any time of year but add to that nature is very hygge, and what better way to make the most of the warm weather? Being outdoors is also great for your mental health, so you get a two in one for that.
5. Go fruit picking in the countryside.
Doing anything outside is a great way to create an atmosphere of hygge.Fruit picking combines the hygge of being in nature with the meditative nature of picking the fruit. So grab your hat and sunscreen and head out to enjoy the countryside… then make ice cream or jam when you get home!
6. Trade your car for a bike.
If you're going to channel some true Danish spirit this summer, you’ll want to get yourself a bike. Ditch your car and get some exercise by exploring your local area by bicycle. Embrace the fresh air and enjoy some solo or family fun.
7. Get outside.
Continuing with the nature theme here... Take a hike in comfortable shoes, explore a forest and climb trees, walk around parks, take a cycle, go bird watching, visit the beach, plan your garden, anything that is outside and natural is hygge.
Do whatever it is that you love outside, and you will feel amazing.
8. Bring nature inside.
Fill your house with flowers, plants or bouquets. The sight and scent of flowers can be amazingly cosy and hygge – maybe not what you think of as traditional hygge but it definitely works. It’s a great way to bring the outdoors in, and perhaps boost your mood a bit.
You don’t have to fork out for fresh flowers all summer either if that’s not in the budget (they can be pricey), even artificial flowers can help to create the same atmosphere. You can also use air fresheners and reed diffusers to help create the same scents around your home.
9. Light a candle.
Just because it’s no longer winter doesn’t mean you have to stop using candles -- they can be used all year round! Candles can feel especially indulgent during the summer months when it gets dark later in the evening.
Wait until the light begins to fade, light up those bad boys, and enjoy the cosy atmosphere. It can be so relaxing sitting with the flicker of candle light around you.
Remember though that the fumes from candles can be bad for you so if you are lighting a lot of them, make sure to crack a window open and let the fumes out!
10. Enjoy water in all its forms.
Why not try it all? From beachcombing to kayaking, tubing or bumming it on the beach, there are so many relaxing ways to get in the water throughout the summer.
Let’s not forget hot tubs, jacuzzis, cold showers, water walking, fishing, lazy days at the lake, late night bonfires on the beach, paddle boarding, diving, snorkeling, surfing or just taking a bath. I could list endless ways to get your hygge on with water this summer
You could spend all your time exploring them all!