All About Hygge: The Danish Art of Cultivating Cozy
We can't seem to get enough of the Scandinavian aesthetic and lifestyle. At Thread + Seed, we love the clean, crisp design and the emphasis on living life thoughtfully. The attention is about curating a life, rather than filling it up with whatever is in front of us.
In Denmark, the term hygge embodies this lifestyle. In a region that is cold and dark for much of the year, getting warm and cozy isn't just about sitting by the fire, it's about one's attitude. Being able to pay attention to the small moments of comfort in life is like working a muscle to the Danish people.
Hygge was shortlisted by the Oxford English Dictionary as one of the top words for 2016. They define it as:
[mass noun] a quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being.
Hygge can be difficult to define, since we don't have a direct translation of it. It's about evoking a feeling, a certain type of joy that is especially apparent in the colder months.
While our schedules fill up and life seems to get busier by the second, it's easy to understand why hygge has become such a popular topic. While the rest of the world's stress levels rise, Scandinavian countries, including Denmark, are consistently ranked as the happiest on our planet. It's easy to deduce that hygge plays a pivotal role.
Scandinavian countries, including Denmark, are consistently ranked as the happiest on our planet.
It's important to note that hygge has no direct translation, and really describes a mood, rather than a specific object. Yet something so ethereal in definition is actually quite easy to attain.
Here are some ideas to put hygge into your every day life:
Get some candles... then actually light them
Someone once told me that candles were meant to be burned, not dusted. Candlelight has been known to have a calming effect, and if you add a great scent, hygge will surround you.
Bundle up with soft blankets and pillows
The softness and warmth of a cozy corner is one of the most hygge things you can do. Throw in a fireplace and a novel, and just spend the afternoon wrapped up in a good story.
Go For a Leisurely Winter Hike
The cool crisp air, the sounds of leaves crunching under your feet, the possibility of snow, what could be more hygge? Bring along a small indulgent snack (I love dark chocolate and coffee) to enjoy at a viewpoint.
Bring together friends at your favorite pub or brewery.
Hygge is all about enjoying the simple pleasures that life has to offer. Here in San Diego, this often means getting together with friends at the nearest brewery. Try a new beer, participate in trivia night-laughter, and that hygge kind of joy will ensue. I have found this is the perfect place to meet and exchange Holiday gifts as well.
We even have a Hygge Surprise Gift Box! It's a little box full of sensorial treats to bring forth that hygge sensation.