It is the latest and greatest of all types of lifestyles, and it is currently breaking the internet. The Hygge Lifestyle is what we’re talking about!
The basis of the Hygge culture revolves around switching off from everything, cozying up, drinking tea and just creating a sense of calmness in your home. Some people just apply these principles when they need it. Others have taken on a full Hygge lifestyle 24/7. You decide for yourself if it is all worth it – we think it is!
What, exactly, does Hygge mean?
The word “Hygge” comes from Scandinavian/Danish origin and is pronounced “hoo-gah”. It also sounds similar to the word “hug” and that sums it up perfectly!
It means to be able to let go of all things that are making you stress right now. Switch off all technology, and let go of all your worries for a little while.
This lifestyle also involves setting a certain atmosphere in your home. This atmosphere is warm with dim lighting and lots of “coziness”. So lighting some candles and curling up with a book or a cup of warm chai tea under a fluffy blanket will help you to achieve that.
Think of coziness, warmth, homeyness, togetherness… That is what this lifestyle is all about!
But, wait… It’s not Winter!?
Is Hygge only applicable to a certain season, such as Fall or Winter?
This lifestyle can be achieved in Summer as well, when it is hot. Remember, the main idea here is to switch off and relax. So if you surround yourself with all things good and relaxing, that also counts as living the unplugged way…
It all comes down to togetherness and spending time with loved ones. Here in South Africa, where the winter is not nearly cold enough to wear Parkas and look like a woolly mammoth, we celebrate the “togetherness” by frequently having a braai. This is the South African term for having a barbecue with friends and family. We also have a nice Afrikaans word for this togetherness, which is samesyn (saa-muh-sane).
So, what do I need for a Hygge Lifestyle?
Here are some helpful tips…
For the Home:
Have an earthy color scheme
Earthy colors have a tendency to bring about a sense of calmness to the atmosphere. It will immediately make you feel at home. Don’t just think in terms of décor item colors, but for the walls, too.
Bring in some plants
Houseplants have always made us humans feel at home, that’s why it is a trend that has never gone out.
One of the traits of this lifestyle is to be one with nature. Because nature automatically makes us feel calm. So bring in those houseplants and also put some pots of herbs in the kitchen.
Invest in some cozy décor
Overstuffed, fluffy pillows and fuzzy rugs ought to do it. You can also buy some over sized knitted blankets or other chunky blankets.
Get a bookshelf
Reading is synonymous to relaxing. Surrounding yourself with books will help you to get even closer to this lifestyle.
Create a “Chill Corner”
In this corner, you can relax with your warm cup of tea and favorite book. Make it nice and cozy for yourself.
Bring in some candles
To create that awesome chill ambiance or atmosphere, buy some candles. A lot of candles. It also helps if you have a crackling fireplace.
The scent of Hygge
Make your home smell like a home with some spices. Boil cinnamon, star anise, lemon and ginger for an hour or so. You can also invest in some incense if it doesn’t give you headaches or sinus problems. Go for earthy scents such as pine, cinnamon, or pumpkin spice if you can find it. Vanilla is also a great smell.
For your Loved Ones:
Introduce your friends and family to the lifestyle
As Hygge is a new culture, not many people know about it. Spread the word (and the hugs) and help them to also get more of this lifestyle into their lives.
Because the truth is, everybody needs a little Hygge in their lives!
Connect with loved ones
We have, unfortunately, been sucked into the screens of our cellphones and computers, constantly. Invite your loved ones over to actually spend quality time with them.
The same goes for going out for coffee or dinner. Keep the tech away and spend time with that person in front of you.
I hate seeing people, especially young couples, who makes all the effort to look nice and dress up, only to sit in front of each other and be busy on their phones the entire time.
We also have that rule with each other whenever we go out: No tech!
Be more present
Make the effort to actually listen to your loved ones and their stories, or grievances.
I have a theory:
Because we are more and more helpless without our WiFi connection, we have developed a need for constantly being entertained. If you go onto Facebook, what do you see? Images, updates, news flashes, etc. It’s all very busy and happening. The same goes for Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram and all of those lovely apps sitting on your phone.
That is when, and if, someone tries to tell you a story or something important that requires more than 10 sentences, you zone out. And it is becoming a bad habit!
I can get so frustrated when I visit someone, to ACTUALLY VISIT THEM, and I constantly feel as if I’m talking to a wall…
So, don’t be like that. Make the effort to actually listen and be there for that person!
Keep your desk Hygge
If you have your own work space or desk, bring in some elements to make it more cozy for yourself. A cute potted plant in a cable knitted cover will just give your desk that extra sense of Hygge.
Surround yourself with things you love and enjoy looking at. Such as photos, cute desk ornaments, a nice stationery set, etc. Don’t forget a great looking coaster for your favorite, over sized Hygge mug.
Introduce your colleagues to this lifestyle
Bring more coziness into the office and make your colleagues aware of the Hygge life. Soon, many a co-worker will also have that cute succulent plant in a knitted tea cozy on their desk.
Leave work on time
There is a reason why you only work until a certain time and not 24/7. Rather leave work when you should and use that extra time to do something you love.
Or use the extra time to spend with your colleagues.
Use your lunch breaks wisely
Instead of “quickly finishing something up” in your lunch break, why not actually take a break…
Have conversations with your colleagues, eat a fulfilling lunch or drink a warm cup of chai tea during your tea break.
Things to do to be more Hygge
- Drink a large cup of warm goodness (hot chocolate, creamy coffee, spiced tea or cocoa)
- Read a good book (not on your tablet or Kindle!)
- Take a long, hot bath with lots of bubbles
- Drink gløgg, which is the Danish term for mulled wine
- Light candles. A lot of them.
- Do some exercises
- Take a long walk
- Go on a hike
- Go camping
- Do some crafts like knitting, sewing or drawing
- Invite a friend over and spend time with them
- Make a list of things you’re thankful for
- Eat a fulfilling meal for dinner
- Eat more cake and treats
- Give someone a hug
- Host a game night
- Go to a spa
- Get takeout food and watch a good movie with a loved one
- Get a massage
- Take a bath with essential oils
- Pamper yourself
- Give yourself a manicure or pedicure
- Listen to harmonious music
How to dress… the Hygge way
- Stock your wardrobe with cozy items such as scarves and beanies.
- Buy a pair of knitted Ugg boots.
- Cozy knits and woolly items are your new best friends!
- For Summer, you can buy cotton items in earthy colors.
- Get a comfy pair of pajamas and slippers or fuzzy socks.
What to eat
The Hygge lifestyle is filled with warmth and goodness, so your food should be too!
Hearty soups and stews
Warm puddings or a big slice of moist chocolate cake!
Pizza or pasta
Filling Chinese food such as Beef Chow Mein or Chow Faan
Salty snacks to nibble on while you work or read.
My favorite go-to snack is biltong. Dried meat, usually beef, that contain spices such as coriander and black pepper. It’s also very high in protein.
…and to drink
- Assorted types of tea
- Different blends of coffee
- Hot Chocolate or spicy cocoa
- Golden Milk (a warm almond milk based drink with turmuric, cinnamon and black pepper)
- Gløgg (mulled wine)
- Dessert wine (or sherry)
Also Read: How to Bulletproof your Immune System
Hygge is NOT Minimalism!
Minimalism, or the minimalist lifestyle, is based on the principle of “less is more”. It means to not have any clutter whatsoever or anything that is excess or extra. It can be related to Hygge in only one way and that is: To be comfortable and happy with less stuff.
Is Hygge a religious thing?
But it is easy to incorporate religions into this lifestyle.
Check out this blog post on how to incorporate Christianity into a Hygge life.
Keywords associated with Hygge
If you want to do some research of your own or look for inspiration on Pinterest, here are some keywords to use: