I’ve recently got back home from fabulous Denmark, a country that was on my travel bucket list for quite a while, ever since the day I came across the Meik Wiking´s bestseller “Hygge”…
Do you know that Danes are considered to be one of the happiest nations on our planet: any ideas why?! – Well, the author claims the answer to this question is quite simple! – their secret ingredient is called “Hygge“.
What is Hygge?! What does this word mean?!
According to Maik Wiking it is hard to find the exact translation for the word hygge – this is the case when you actually need to read the book to understand its meaning fully. Some might compare hygge to the “coziness of soul“, while for others it will be “a cup of cacao in the candlelight“: whatever comforts and indulges us.
Holland, Germany, Norway, Canada, and some other countries all have in their languages similar words to describe this unique feeling of presence and relaxation. However, only in Denmark I definitely felt like hygge was something you could perceive almost everywhere.
In fact, we could all learn from the Danes who try to make the most of the small things every day: even despite the weather outside you’re still the one to set up the atmosphere at home, right?! So, this year I’m going to embrace this simple philosophy at home – let’s add some hygge to our everyday lives.
More Hygge to Everyday Life: My Top 5
1. Light Magic
In his book Maik Wiking emphasizes the importance of right lighting in the lives of Danes: everything from candles to fancy designers lamps could drastically change the final look of your apartment. I’ve always used to evaluate the interiors in general and never paid too much attention to the lighting itself and its effects on the atmosphere of a certain place. But after the Hygge book, I’ve actually realized it is one of these small things that end up making a big difference.
Just a small example – this is the small local cafe near the Frederiksborg Castle. Do you notice something unusual here? – Yes. Candles for breakfast (not to mention the hygge interior). It was 9 a.m. and every table had a candle.
According to statistics only 4% of Danes don’t use candles at all. A week before my trip to Denmark, I’ve started watching a famous Danish police drama The Killing (or Forbrydelsen) and (as I’ve already read the book by then) I´ve started noticing candles everywhere. Let´s say the main hero is having a quick dinner at home by himself/herself and what’s on the table beside food? – Of course, candles.
No phones, no social media is the best detox at times. How often do we take a moment to enjoy being in the now?
A park near Rosenborg Castle / Copenhagen
Science has already proved it many times: social relations is one of the decisive factors in our happiness. Togetherness is a big part of the hygge concept. And it´s not about huge parties – it´s all about small cozy gathering with people we love: doing things together, creating new traditions and memories.
3. Hyggeling Activities: Cooking
In my family, we all share the passion for homemade food – but I’m the only one to cook lol And even though I spend a lot of time on the kitchen experimenting with the new recipes, bakery and dough is something I still haven’t mastered yet. Hope to improve my baking skills in 2018…
Wulff og Konstali / Copenhagen
While the Danish street style is quite informal and looks comfortable, I probably love dressing up way too much to adopt it. However, it made me realize that I never really paid a lot of attention to what I wear at home. Cozy sweaters, soft fabrics, light colors – it all makes you feel more hygge, right?!
5. Hyggekrog and Hygge Emergency Kit
Another two interesting concepts Maik Wiking introduces in his book are Hyggekrog and Hygge Emergency Kit.
Hyggekrog is a special place at home, a cozy nook, where you might enjoy your cup of tea, book, newspaper or even work, while Hygge Emergency Kit is your self-care ritual that includes things you love the most (to wind down after a rough day): candles, tea with rich bouquet of aromatic flavors, favorite chocolate, soft blanket & warm wool socks, book or photo album etc. Check these tips that will turn you into a Hygge fan: 5 Things For Your Perfect Hygge Weekend.
If you haven’t read “Hygge” by Maik Wiking, I would definitely recommend it (especially to those planning a trip to Denmark)!