Just like the Portuguese word Saudade, Hygge, a Danish word pronounced " hou-ga", has no real translation. According to Meik Wiking, the author of " The Little Book of Hygge ", the closest would be cozy and warm. Hygge represents all those little moments of happiness that you cannot buy, you can only create them, and integrate them into your daily life. This is a Danish concept, brought about as once again they're the happiest nation on earth according to the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network. See this list, the World Happiness Report, and marvel how and why, Portugal, is only 94th out of 157 countries! We should be much higher; a safe, stable, sunny country. Why only yesterday, I had gorgeous lunch, on a terrace, sun out shining, watching a regatta, eating freshly grilled fish and the best white house wine! The only threat were a few dark clouds...so why aren't we happy? Here are some tips to ameliorate the situation.
6 Hygge Tips
Adapt your decor.
Create a comfortable zone where you can sip a cup of coffee and and think, where comfort and warmth rule. A great way to do this is to slip an Ikea sheepskin over a chair or throw over a couch.
Light up your candles
Yes, candles are not out of fashion, I love receiving them as I can never have enough! They actually serve a purpose. Besides infusing your home with a lovely scent, they create a softer, warmer light and therefore, a better, more relaxed environment. Remember: not just one solitary candle but a whole tray of them.
Yes, choose a cup of tea, hot chocolate, or coffee, as long as it's warm. Even a warm wine...Wrap your hands around it and enjoy, savour each moment as it it were your last cup of warmth !
Eating, (in moderation) without Guilt
Cakes and pastries are an important part of Hygge as they're comfort foods. Normally associated with GUILT, the Danes have accepted that it's our right to once in a while eat that cake, no thought on calories, no culpability. Especially if it's a hygge cake, one that is homemade.
Layers of coziness, star by layering a knitted, comfortable oversize sweater over a warm cotton/cashmere T-shirt, wrap a scarf around yourself, slip on some of the best quality socks that you can find, furry Birkenstocks and you're all Hygged out to face the cold in comfort.
This is necessary so that you can live totally in the present. Remove yourself from the need to answer an email, check your Facebook page, post on Instagram, and leave all exterior distractions aside. This is so beneficial, it calms us, grounds us and brings us closer to our true self. Try it, just a few minutes a day.
These are my Hygge ways, that bring me comfort, warmth and pleasure, what are yours?