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Practicing Hygge year round

Caroline Smith

Is hygge only relevant for cold weather? It's the end of February but this week it's feeling more like May so we sat down to think about the concept of Hygge and why it makes sense in every season.

We blogged about the concept last year and there has continued to be a lot of buzz about the Danish concept pronounced “hoo-gah” or “hue-gah,”. As a refresher, it's a word that refers to the feeling of coziness, comfort, and well-being. The idea of hygge is nothing new in Scandinavia, perhaps even originating in the 16th century, but the social media following it’s gaining has increased its popularity in the US . In typical Danish homes, you’ll find plentiful fur, wool, or flannel blankets and many candles in every room, but the look and vibe can vary widely, depending on the person, location, and season. Some people are coziest wrapped up in blankets on the couch with candles, others, on a sunny porch with a glass of wine, or some may prefer a yoga mat with tea. Personally, my idea of hygge is being wrapped up in a blanket, drinking coffee, and cuddling with Prints, my guinea pig.

 Prints! Image by Erin Halcott

Prints! Image by Erin Halcott

 Image by Katie Martin

Image by Katie Martin

But hygge is more than blankets and candles. It incorporates not only your environment but also your mental space. You can set up your room to feel truly hygge, but if your mind is cluttered and stressed, the effect won’t be the same. Our rushed society in the United States makes this part especially tricky. Hygge is a feeling; enjoying the moment, feeling truly present. Some people enjoy journaling during their time, others enjoy listening to music, some enjoy both. I enjoy listening to audio books. It allows me to relax and really settle into the present, without allowing my mind to create ever-lingering to-do lists.

Hygge is simplistic in essence... enjoying the simplest and coziest aspects of your life and being truly present for them. For a minimalist like myself, finding hygge is a great way to slow down, relax, and enjoy the moment.

A very special thanks to Dr. Adrienne Schwarte for her expertise.

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