There’s no doubt that at this time of year, and in the run up to Christmas, many of us will be feeling a little panicked about the present buying, gift wrapping, food preparing, family visiting and everything else that happens in the run up to the festive season.
I am definitely feeling the pressure at the moment and am looking forward to a welcomed rest at home when the ‘craziness’ calms down. I will be taking some inspiration from the Scandinavian concept of hygge or ‘hoo-gah’. Hygge is the Danish and Norwegian word for a feeling of cosy contentment and wellbeing enjoyed through the simple things in life.
Without realising it, I have always enjoyed hygge. Getting cosy at home in the winter with a thick blanket, a crackling fire, a hot chocolate and some new pyjamas, is my recipe for happiness any day of the week, and retreating into my home with my family on a dark evening or rainy weekend, is the perfect pick me up!
Introducing hygge into my home
I will be bringing in some candlelight to our home this winter. There’s nothing more enticing than a room lit by candlelight, especially at Christmas, and when the Danes are asked what they most associate with hygge, a lot of them will say candles.
The tactile sense is also very important when it comes to a hyggelig interior, so I like to make sure I have a variety of textures throughout our house. A wooden table, a fur rug, a soft linen blanket, will all bring me ‘comfort and joy’ over the festive period.
Keeping it simple is also the key so I’ll be surrounding myself with only the things that bring me happiness. What could be better than a good clear out during the downtime at the end of December? Once I’ve ditched those ‘unmeaningful’ items, I can step into the New Year feeling invigorated and ‘free’.
Staying focussed on the simple things
In the busy world we live in, it’s important to stay focussed on the important and simple things in life in order to stay happy and centred. In fact, hygge is such an important part of being Danish that it is considered ‘a defining feature of our cultural identity and an integral part of the national DNA,’ according to Meik Wiking, the CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen.
Let us all take inspiration from the Scandinavians and bring in some ‘hygge’ to our lives this winter.