A Taste of Hygge in the Country.
The term Hygge or Hyggelig has become hugely popular recently.
Explaining what Hygge means exactly, isn’t particularly easy though.
Hygge has been called everything from ‘the art of creating intimacy’, ‘cosiness of the soul’, and even ‘the absence of annoyance’.
Hygge is all atmosphere and experience, rather than about things.
The focal point of Hygge is connection, being with the people we love.
It is a feeling of home, safety and comfort.
In Copenhagen, Denmark, there is an Institute called The Happiness Research, which focuses on well-being, happiness and quality of life.
I may have missed a trick in my life, not acquiring a job at this Institute.
Surely, working there would be the best place in the world?
If you aren’t aware, Denmark as a country, consistently ranks amongst the happiest nation’s in the world. Why is that?
The country itself faces the same challenges as we do here in the UK.
It is a question that has been asked often of the Danes, me along with them. Why are they so happy?
I mean, they have the most horrific weather, to begin with, plus the citizens of Denmark are subjected to some of the highest tax rates in the world. So, what gives?
Yet despite these seeming negatives, and according to the European Social Survey, Danes are indeed the happiest people in Europe.
This is what I discovered –
Danes have a healthy and positive thought pattern towards their high tax rates, namely they are investing back into their own society, purchasing quality of life, looking after the welfare of their people.
They refuse to dwell on the negatives and instead, strive to see the good in their actions.
In addition, to that virtuous list is of course – Hygge.
The Danish recipe for happiness.
Hygge’s focus on ‘well-being’, equates to me, caring for one’s soul, nourishing the good and extracting the bad.
It’s soft lighting – a lot of it, good food, slow conversations, many candles, silence, cozy throw rugs and observing the rhythms of nature.
Fluffy socks tucked under one’s body whilst being lulled to sleep by a purring cat, cradling a warm drink, being with your peeps and practising the art of listening.
A hundred different things, but most of all, it is not rushed.
I just adore everything that represents Hygge and all it stands for in my family’s quest for slow living.
Time and time again, I am drawn back into the gentle embrace of practising Hygge.
A conscious decision to retreat and surround oneself with calm.
Contentment follows as a natural course of action.
Hygge happens without one realising it.
As a treat for my birthday late last year, my husband surprised me with three Hygge gift boxes, from the UK based The Little House of Hygge.
And whilst Hygge is not about stockpiling more stuff, this little monthly heart deposit is a luxurious reminder to practise the art of Hygge.
Beautifully packaged by hand, the items inside reflect the Company’s desire to press into Hygge in our every day.
This month’s lovely haul, all in soft, muted tones, was a lemon & mint candle from the Edinburgh Candle Company. Delicately scented and backed with a powerful company ethos. Their focus being on enabling vulnerable women who face barriers to work, gain a footing within the working field. This is a not only an environmentally responsible company, but also an ethical one. I would happily indulge my copious candle addiction from this company. Definitely a win/win from all sides.
A delicious bar of Creighton’s Chocolaterie, Botanic Refresher, dark chocolate with elderflower and sharp lemon pieces (divine!). A double-treat for my soul and body, with all the goodness of that pure cocao bean, presented in the most divine package. I literally ate with my eyes, even before I dived into the noir squares.
An organic cotton, fair-trade, string bag, from Turtle Bags UK. Promoting a strong movement towards reducing plastic wastage and pollution in the home, with the added bonus of an on-trend crochet/retro look. Perfect for a quick market-day fruit and vegetable shop and small enough to fold and place in one’s handbag.
A gorgeous smelling, 100% all natural, all purpose tincture spray, from Tincture London. The alluring scents of Sage, Clove and Juniper. I am already a huge fan of essential oils. Therefore I’m thrilled to find a UK based company, driving a holistic approach to cleaning, using essential oils for their amazing antiseptic and healing properties. It takes cleaning to a whole new level!
And lastly, KeepCups Chai, already have my heart as an Australian, as they originated in Melbourne in 1998, a year after my first child was born! I respect their desire to reduce the amount of packaging waste. In particular a cup of coffee, which is often knocked back in less than 15 minutes and then discarded within our ‘to go’ environment. Their range of colours and sizes, notwithstanding the adorable names of each individual cup, is incredibly impressive. I love the fact I can take my double espresso with me, whilst out walking with the kids and Queenie.
My children called Hygge – ‘hug’ – and for me it is like a warm embrace.
They say you know you are practising Hygge, when you feel it and through this long English winter, I have felt Hygge more and more each day.
I have also been intentional in seeking it and appreciating the golden Hygge moments.
This morning, it was waking to the smell of smoky bacon sizzling on the hob, an insistent shaft of sunlight pushing its way between the grey, drizzly clouds and the gentle smile of joy on Martha’s face as she dressed up in readiness for a special coffee date with her mama.
The more Hygge we create, the more I want to capture it’s essence and hold onto it with both hands – happy, calm, safe, peaceful.
Yes and thank you, the welcome mat is out and the coffee brewing.
Come on in and please don’t ever leave.
Please Note: I have not been paid for this post.
All thoughts and opinions are my own.