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Hygge:A mood to adopt

Hygge is a Danish word that means creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good company

Have you heard of ‘hygge’? Pronounced ‘hoo-gah’, it’s the Danish art of cosiness! For instance, the warm glow of candlelight or snuggling up with a loved one is hygge. Gathering with your friends and family, discussing anything, little or large, while having coffee or tea – is hygge. 

Hygge can be felt alone or with friends; at home or not; and this could explain why the Danes are some of the happiest people in the world! In old Norwegian, ‘hygge’ actually meant something like ‘well-being’ and it cropped up around the end of the 18th century and the Danes have adopted it ever since!

Hygge happens all year round and it can be felt anytime you visit Denmark. In summer, picnics in the park, barbeques with your loved ones and even bike rides are very hygge. Winter in Denmark is long and dark so to fight off the darkness, the Danes use… you guessed it, hygge! Christmas time is high season of hygge where millions of candles are lit and ‘weapons’ come in the form of the cosiest items like blankets and oversized scarves. 

A hygge life

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There’s no need to buy anything new but it’s tempting now that hygge has been hyped up and become a trend. Keep in mind that the concept of hygge encompasses a cosy and content feeling along with well-being by enjoying the simple things in life. Have a think about what translates to hygge for you. 

This can range from reading a book at home on a rainy Sunday or a hot steaming cup of coffee, first thing in the morning. Why, you could’ve experienced hygge and not even know it. So have a think and pinpoint when you feel hygge and content with just being present.

For those who still may not be too sure about hygge, here are some things that are hygge:

  • Candles offer soft lighting and some scented ones can really make you feel extra cosy. Light some candles while you soak in the bath or before bed to set a cosy mood but don’t forget to blow it out before sleeping!
  • Having a chill weekend, reading in bed and enjoying a mug of coffee. 
  • When you go out to eat at a restaurant, it can also have a hygge atmosphere where instead of the price of your meal, the comfort you feel and your company is more than enough. This can also happen at home where you eat your favourite comfort food like soup, meatballs or even pancakes!

Hygge at work

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Another place that could do with a shot of hygge is your workplace. Now, we don’t mean to bring candles and show up with blankets to make your workplace as cosy as possible. Inserting a little dose of hygge at your workplace could help you be more kind and even excited for the work ahead. 

  • Bring a mug from home and drink out of it to have a piece of home with you. 
  • Spend your lunch breaks away from your work desk and really take a break. Don’t check your email or plan your next presentation while staring at the computer for that time you’re on break. 
  • Have a small personal item to spruce up your workspace and this can be a family picture, bouquet of flowers or even artwork, all within your company’s policies of course. 
  • Organise a weekly potluck to share comfort food with your fellow co-workers.
  • Do random acts of kindness like picking up coffee for the office or saying something kind to someone. It can really make a difference in someone’s day!

Things that aren’t hygge are:

  • Looking at your phone screen by yourself. The television screen is alright but perhaps invite your close friends for a cosy night of your favourite movies! 
  • Staying alone at home and moping about the weather, traffic, terrible colleagues and more ‘uncosy’ things. There’s nothing wrong with staying at home but to snap yourself out of an un-hygge funk, go for a long walk outside or call your friends and family to catch up. 
  • Buying things to be on-trend and this applies to even buying things labelled ‘hygge’. Hygge means to create an atmosphere rather than things. So instead of buying a ‘hygge coffee mug’, pour your favourite coffee blend into your favourite mug and enjoy how cosy  the coffee makes you feel. 
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Reference: Country Living; Visit Denmark

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