Hygge for All Seasons.
Throughout the past week we have had an unprecedented heat-wave in the UK. Hitting a record high of 29C last Thursday, making it the warmest April day for nearly 70 years.
The surprising weather felt like a wonderful gift from nature, following the recent arctic conditions of the past few months. Actually my brain took a few days to acclimatise, not to mention the fact that my legs and arms literally hadn’t absorbed a single ray of vitamin D for well over six months.
It was all a bit of a shock.
Plus, I had to shave my legs! Six months of leg hair growth is impressive to say the least.
Like most of Britain, we headed outdoors.
Long walks in the sunshine, bike-riding through the countryside, a picnic in the garden, a few sausages thrown on the barbie. It was heaven!
I predictably went a little overboard and packed away everybody’s winter wardrobe (when will I learn?), storing them in the attic in the hopes that they won’t be needed for another six months.Also, predictably, the weather has turned cold again.
My poor children are walking around freezing in cute cotton dresses, with only tiny spaghetti straps to cover their chilly shoulders. And as I have also packed away their warm winter boots, their feet are turning a lovely shade of blue in rubber flip flops.
Never ones to be deterred for long, the kids have managed to squeeze their icy toes into the few remaining warm socks they own. Socks and flip flops are quite the look I can tell you!
So is the long sleeved tops they found in the clothes dryer and duly placed under their cotton dresses for some warm padding.
I don’t think this bespoke bohemian look will be catching on anytime soon, thank goodness.
For me, practising the art of Hygge, seems more beneficial and cozy when the weather outside is cold and grey.
Visions of warm candle-light, thick, soft throw rugs, hands clasped around a hot drink, evoke a sense of cocooned harmony. We all tend to hibernate over winter and what better way to do it than make our own abode cushioned in warm loveliness.
And when the sun comes out (and stays for a while), it is understandable that Hygge might take a bit of a back seat.
But that is where I have been wrong, as the Danish ritual of enjoying life’s simple pleasures takes on a whole new meaning in the summertime. Of course, you can Hygge at any time of the year and
summer is the perfect season to copy the Scandinavian’s and get back in touch with mother nature.
A day at the seaside, a glass of rose’ in the garden, a sunny patch on the grass with a book, doesn’t cost a penny, which is the sole reason it is so incredibly Hygge.
Hygge isn’t about money but all about the experience.
And of course, the Dane’s are fanatical bike riders! In 2016, bikes outnumbered cars for the first time in Copenhagen, with thousands of people travelling on two wheels for commuting and leisure. Why not encourage the family to walk instead of drive to your local park or pub. There is something so invigorating about being in the fresh air with your loves.Have you noticed that a huge proportion of Instagram photos are taken outside? This is more than simply the light being better. It is because we are at our happiest when surrounded by nature.
A sweet fresh breeze, the sound of baby birds calling for their mama to feed them, hearing water twinkle in a sparkling stream.There is a sort of magic in the natural world.
It has been said that a child, more than anyone else, is a spontaneous observer of nature. A playful spirit, a curious mind with a world to explore.
I want more of that child-like joy and I believe it is to be found outside, just like the Dane’s have discovered.
And once you have had your incredible fill outside, why not bring it inside with some beautiful fresh flowers? Apparently, having flowers in your home increases happiness, reduces depression and anxiety and can build positive emotions with friends and family. A separate study by Harvard University found the same results – increased compassion, feeling less negative, and more energy at work.
Who knew flowers packed such a medicinal and beneficial punch?Or treat the family to a leisurely Swedish breakfast in the form of Swedish Cinnamon Buns – followed by a lunch of their famous smørrebrød (open sandwiches).
Remember, Hygge is the art form of creating intimacy in any given moment and nothing says comfort and togetherness more than baking and eating as a family.
Meik Wiking quotes in The Little Book of Hygge, that “Hygge is the pursuit of everyday happiness” – and that means summer just as much as winter.
Here are some more Summer Hygge tips for you to enjoy:
– Switch your bedding over into something lighter. 100% Egyptian white cotton sheets (although more pricey to purchase) are divine to sleep in, especially during hot summer nights with the window open.
– Set up a day-bed or a rocking chair in an area that gets plenty of light and a cool breeze.
– Invite some friends around for a barbecue, chimenea or a fire-pit. Think toasted marshmallows and an Aussie favourite, damper, which is a basic scone mix, fashioned on the end of a stick, roasted over the fire, dipped in butter and honey.
– Look for pretty beach shells and when home, help the kids make a shell mobile to hang outside, so it twinkles and sings in the breeze.
– Turn over some fresh dirt and plant some vegetable seeds.
– Take the family to an outdoor concert or festival. There are loads of amazing places up and down the country.
– Camp outside under the stars. Tell stories, play cards under the moon, be lulled to sleep by the sounds of wildlife and wake to the morning song of birds.
– Spring clean your house. We all know the feeling of satisfaction when you have had a good clean-out and of course, the benefits of living clutter-free goes deeper than just the aesthetics.
Get the whole family involved and encourage them to sell the things they no longer want or need. It’s a great incentive for little ones (and teenagers!).
It is therefore fitting to release our Seven Days of Hygge free e-book, whilst we are in-between seasons here in the UK.
For every day of the week, we have given you a snapshot of embracing the life of Hygge at home and sharing this with your loves.
In order to receive your copy, simply click the subscribe button in the right hand corner of the page.
We will need your email to send you the book, however, we promise not to spam you with endless annoying information!! Honestly, is there anything worse.
You could also be in the running to receive your very own copy of The Times bestseller ‘The Little Book of Hygge’ by Meik Wiking.
Three subscribers will be chosen at random on the 1st of June and we will announce the fortunate recipients via Instagram and Facebook, the same day.Wishing you a wonderfully Hygge Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter!
I so hope you enjoy your Hygge journey as much as we do and here’s to emanating the happiest country in the world!