A ‘Hygge’ Day
Hygge – or pronounced ‘hu-gah’ or ‘hoo-ga’ is this thing that just really appeals to me. I like the thought of it and the doing of it. Especially on cold days and evenings like we are experiencing now. It’s the first of March, and spring flowers are poking out from a blanket of snow. That’s thanks to a polar vortex called the ‘Beast from the East’, nicknamed by weather forecasters. These Siberian winds are blowing in our direction and this is the result. Looks pretty – and quite odd at the same time. My brain is thinking, ‘it’s March now so bring on the light evenings and warmer days’. Then it’s also saying – ‘wow, snow! I love snow’. I’d even be happy hitting the sledge for an hour or so, but once I’m wet and my hands feel like dropping off I’m pretty miserable. Then indoors it takes forever to warm up again.
What is Hygge?
So going back to Hygge – if you haven’t already heard of it, is a Danish concept. The word Hygge doesn’t literally translate anything into English. It’s just all about cosiness, warmth, happiness – whatever form that comes in. For me it’s fluffy blankets, coffee or hot chocolate, a lit fire or candles, low lighting and maybe a purring cat on the sofa. When I have been reading up on Hygge, it seems like it’s not one true thing – more like a feeling. But it centres around you and perhaps people or pets close to you (but not always). Plus doing the things you enjoy when relaxing. It’s less about electronics but just snuggling in when it’s cold and dark outdoors. It could be in a bubble bath or reading a book or enjoying comforting food.
You can also experience Hygge at any time and any season as it’s about feelings and emotions. This could be outdoors as well as in. I think of when I lived by the beach and we used to spend summer evenings there with friends, playing music.
To me it’s all about creating an atmosphere to trigger the senses. Definitely lighting – that’s important. Nothing really bright, so candles or fairy lights – again anywhere. When I’m indoors I like low lights such as table lamps as well to compliment. No bright spotlights.
When I think about Hygge I actually think of Christmas eve when the Christmas stuff is on the TV (I’m thinking The Snowman because I have watched it since being a child). Then settling the family down for bed with hot chocolate, pyjamas and getting the mince pie and sherry out for Santa. Maybe because it’s my favourite time of year (and my Birthday of course!) and it’s all about cosiness and excitement. You’re looking forward to something and it’s extra special.
But not just Christmas but any evening, or even lazy afternoons. Just hanging out on the sofa. That’s so rare for me.
When to Hygge
I’m one of these who does feel guilty if I’m doing ‘nothing’ if it’s daytime. If the rest of the family are napping or under a blanket watching a movie, I’ll be in the kitchen cooking or baking. Then the evenings are all about eating and doing all the comforting things. The evenings are also the times when I daydream the most. So using that time for planning (I’m very old fashioned and write notes by hand) is ideal. If the environment is set right and I have close family around me, not only do I feel inspired to do and create things, I also feel stronger to do those things.
So today is a snowy weekday. Kyle is home because the school is closed. Darrel went to work and I took Eva to nursery (not that I’m cheering or anything). The snow makes the house bright but the sky is grey and dull. The heating is on, I’m not letting the coffee machine have a break and I’m warming my ‘hottie’ – a microwavable beanie toy to hug. I have two fluffy jumpers on, thick socks and my day couldn’t get anymore Hygge. The cold can now be forgiven as long as I’m lucky enough to stay warm and dry. So I reckon I’m okay to wait a little while longer before Spring actually does arrive.
I might even go and get the Scrabble board out…
5 Ways to Hygge at home – no expense spared:
- 1. Find comfortable clothing. This could be a warm jumper and slippers or a warm onesie. It’s not about fashion, but feeling comfortable and warm.
- 2. Make heart-warming food. This might be a homemade cottage pie or a takeaway pizza. It’s whatever makes you feel happy inside – a carb overload or a healthy veggie soup. For me it would be breads and cheeses and perhaps a rice pudding. I just think of warm food that I can eat on the sofa.
- 3. If you have an open fire (or any fire) then light it. On a cold day this sets the atmosphere and makes you physically warm. On a summer’s evening get the fire pit out in the garden. Wrap up in blankets and toast marshmallows. You’re creating great memories
- 4. Make a hot chocolate with marshmallows and cream. Then add a chocolate flake – why not? Or make it grown up with a shot of liqueur in the bottom. Yeah, that’s comfort..
- 5. Spending time with family and friends. This could be sitting around watching a movie, playing a game of cards or having prosecco and nibbles. The idea is that you have all the time in the world. No rushing off to do something and no worrying about work emails.
I want to be doing this everyday – it’s got to be good for you.