The Danes know how to get cozy. It’s pretty much a national pastime. In fact, they have a special word and concept for it. According to VisitDenmark.com, hygge (pronounced hoo-ga) can be translated best as coziness.
It’s best articulated as “creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people.” The winters in Denmark are long, dark, and cold, but the Danish people undertake the art of hygge to bring warmth, happiness, and comfort into their lives. That’s certainly a practice that most of us could use no matter what the temperature outside.
Hygge has transcended the boundaries of Denmark and is taking the world by storm. The concept is all the rage this winter and Oxford Dictionaries even shortlisted the word for the Word of the Year for 2016. Don’t worry if you haven’t yet heard of hygge--you know of it now, and that's you all need to get started to bring more comfort and contentment into your life.
Hygge itself is sort of abstract--a frame of mind or a positivity towards life in general. Whether you celebrate the holiday or not, think of the “Spirit of Christmas, ” and you might get the idea. Around Christmas, many choose to be actively more kind, jovial, and forgiving toward one another and there’s an emphasis on traditions and activities that are comforting and inviting. That’s the idea behind the hygge, but it can actually be practiced year round without the expense or cleanup of Christmas trees, all those tangled lights, and the onslaught of holiday cookies.
Here are some ways to get inspired to be all zen and hygge this winter season!
How to Practice the Art of Hygge
1. Warm Drinks
Whether you like hot toddies, chai, or mint tea, enjoying warm drinks is universally comforting. Give in and indulge yourself in some really nice tea or make Irish coffees this weekend for brunch.
2. Cozy Throws
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Put aside the to-do list and get comfy on the sofa under a warm throw or blanket. The to-do list will be there tomorrow, but you will never get another chance to be happy in this moment.
3. Netflix/Amazon Prime/Hulu
Yes, staying in this weekend and binge-watching that series you’ve been meaning to watch is super hygge. Even better, make popcorn and watch it with loved ones for extra points.
4. Warm Socks or Slippers
Kick off your shoes when you get home and put on cozy slippers or warm slipper socks. Get comfy and plan to stay home. That is the hygge way.
There is something about the dark winters in Denmark that calls for a lot of candles. Put aside those fears that you’ll burn the house down and add some candles to the dinner table tonight. Candlelight is pretty much mandatory.
6. Gather With Friends
Whether it’s around the table for an informal potluck dinner or a night in with cocktails and board games, spending time with family and friends to bring joy and happiness into your life is essential.
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