What is Hygge?!
Updated: Jun 2
What is Hygge
I learned about the Danish concept of HYGGE (pronounced Hoo - gah) two years ago when looking for a way to survive yet another Atlantic Canadian winter. Since I am not an outdoorsy person, I find winter especially challenging because I was always unprepared for the cold, hated the lack of sunlight and just wanted to curl up in my bed until winter was over. The word HYGGE is from Old Norse and has many meanings including “to give courage, comfort, joy”, “to embrace”, and “hug”. Simply put, HYGGE is enjoying the simple pleasures and deep feelings of coziness and well-being. It embodies the idea of creating an atmosphere of warmth, light, comfort, and connection, along with an awareness and appreciation for the beauty and joy around us.
With applications in all aspects of life, from your home, to your social life to the atmosphere you create, I was able to implement small tips and rituals to have one of my most memorable winters. For the first time, I finally felt like I was starting to get a handle on the stress and anxiety plaguing my life and was starting to create balance. After years of dealing with a toxic and abusive relationship, I was able to bring moments of joy and connection back into my life through self-care rituals based on the concept of Hygge.
Whether alone or together, creating moments of joy and connections is at the very essence of all things hygge.
Meeting with friends on a patio for a great meal and even greater conversation is Hygge
Having a games night with your family is Hygge
Fairy lights on a backyard patio where you enjoy fireside drinks with friends
Enjoying a simple cup of tea and really leaning into the moment is hygge.
Getting outside for a walk everyday is Hygge
3 simple ways to bring hygge into your life right now:
1. Be prepared
Start off by making sure you are prepared for the season; you can't enjoy the winter if you're cold and you can't enjoy a day at the beach if you're nursing a sunburn. Accept that the weather is out of our control and prepare for it. Then get outside and make memories!
Try having a rainy day kit ready with games, comfort food (some Luvo maybe) and candles ready for stormy nights.
Get some rain gear for the next summer rainfall and spend the day searching for worms and puddle-jumping with your kids.
Have your beach bags ready to go with essentials so you can hop in the car at the drop of a hat and head over to the closest watering hole.
You wont regret being prepared!
2. Bring nature inside
Bringing nature inside is a great way to bring the calm and freshness of nature into your everyday life. Being in nature, or even viewing scenes of nature has been shown to reduce anger, fear, and stress and increase pleasant feelings. The ritual of caring for the plants can also bring calm and routine to your life. It makes sense that by letting some more life inside your home, you will promote the feeling of hygge. So bring in some potted plants, start your own herb garden in the kitchen, get a furry friend if you don’t already have one. You will feel so much more happy and vibrant, and so much more hygge.
One of my favorite hygge traditions is to enjoy the soft, sensual light and delightful smells of candles. Great for meditation, relaxation and to put you in the mood, candles can be used all year round. One of my favorite local candle companies Contrail Candles has wonderful citrus and jungle inspired scented candles, perfect for summer. They have also partnered with Voda on our Fika Scent, which creates a relaxing atmosphere with its undertone of coffee, chocolate and bergamot.