Sometimes words come in one language and that’s it. Hygge (read Hoo-ge) is a Danish concept that not so many languages have a word for. Or at least not all of them got to be recognized the way Hygge got. It’s a feeling, a combination of little things and cozy stuff that makes life even more lovable.
Vanilla candles, coffee, woollen socks with a crackling fireplace in the background and a subtle smell of spruce wood. A popular marketing theme for artisan candles and ornaments, yet this feeling is not in the stuff. As much as it is also about learning to really enjoy what we get to the fullest, it is also about slowing down… slowing way down. Just like those conversations with friends that just stretch as if they could go on forever.
Imagine walking down a street lit by English style light poles. Maybe snow is drizzling in glitter like shimmers under the yellow street lights. You walk into your favourite tea
store and get a pack of your most beloved blend. After you get home and get your jacket off, You put the kettle on the stove and as the water is heating up, one of the many rolled cream coloured and white blankets will warm your feet up next to the fireplace. A couple candles make the space nicely lit and the smell of nutmeg essential oil is everywhere. You are home! There is nowhere to be, nothing to do but to be here, now. Savouring every sip of your favourite tea simply because life is all about one more sip! Hygge!
Integrating a hygge perspective can contribute a lot to the quality of our lives. In a world that constantly encourages faster, more efficient ways of doing stuff, our brains, bodies, and spirit can really use some coffee smelling and stuffed animal snuggling. Maybe Covid-19 is a great opportunity for us to take the Hygge approach to life as a lot of us stayed home for long stretches. Taking the time to do what we usually consider something that we don’t really have the time for can revolutionize our feelings. Try baking your own bread patiently this time or filling in a colouring book to a soft rock album you chose. When we genuinely understand that we only live once, we realize how important it is to live to the fullest! What would we ever rush for?
The love of petite decoratives and sentimental scents and products is a core drive in this lifestyle yet it is important not to fall for too much materialism. It’s important to remember that Hygge is about quality and love, not trying to find peace in a momentary clutter. It’s better to let all the beautiful stuff come into its true place meaningfully as life unfolds. All those nicely rolled blankets and towels need to be put there in a space of compassion. The mugs, glass animals, wooden sculptures and Christmas lights cannot be bought all at the same time. Hygge is in a single mug when we take the time to give every drop of that hot cocoa all we have! Surely it is also about knowing when to loosen up and treat yourself to happiness.