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Hygge explained

I often write about self-care and how it can be possible for moms with small kids. Which is why I want to share about my love of this idea called Hygge (pronounced Hooga). I have been slowly implementing it into my life for a while now and have truly loved every minute of it.  All moms can truly benefit from this idea and it isn’t hard to start applying to your life right away.

What is Hygge?

Hygge is a way of living in Denmark that has been around since the 19th century. It is a huge part of the culture there. Many believe this is a large contributor to why this country is the happiest country in the world despite many difficult hurdles like highest tax rate in the world.

Hygge is best translated as coziness, but in my opinion that doesn’t begin to explain what Hygge really is. Coziness is a part of it, but there is so much more to it. It encapsulates your environment (candles, lighting, textures in your décor), the way you spend your down time, and the people you spend your time with.

Environment

One thing Danes use a lot of is candles. The lighting from candles is considered very Hyggelig (literally translated and hygge-ly or hygge like) The candles are often unscented white candles that they use, but I prefer to use candles that have smells I enjoy.  They also utilize specific types of lamps to achieve a hyggelig effect including lamps with lower wattage and certain styles that soften the light.

Home Décor

I have seen many define hygge home décor as simple and natural that use natural woods and light colors with minimalistic features. While I think that is more true to the way Scandinavians design their home, I know many people who can hygge just as well in their homes without perfect minimalism.

One main component to hygge home décor is a cozy chair. One you could really get comfortable in and enjoy.  Using throws, textures, plants and natural materials to decorate your living space is also considered very hyggelig.

couch with throw

-My couch I added a few hygge touches too

terrarium

-A terrarium is a great way to bring greenery into your house (plus it’s fun to make!)

When to Hygge

Hygge is mainly enjoyed in the winter time (with wool socks!) as it can get and stay very dark and cold in Denmark during this time. Danes make the most of this time by finding time to hygge. One important aspect of hygge is to do it with friends and family. Normally it will be in small groups. You may be doing something like cooking or baking, something where everyone is chipping in as it is more about the act than about the outcome.  You may just sit by the fire and tell stories reminiscing about past times.  No matter which way you choose to hygge it’s about being together in peace and rarely should there be talk about tense topics in this time.

In addition, important things to remember about the time you hygge, is that you are present.  Being unplugged can greatly increase this possibility and not doing a to do list can help too.

How to Start Hygge

In order to hygge you have to allow yourself to relax. Whatever is unfinished will go unfinished in this time. You can hygge any which way I have mentioned or a variety of ways I have included in the free printable below. . When you first get started feel free to grab a hot tea or something similar and a good book. This is considered very hyggelig.

Mamas, I know you are thinking when am I going to be able to do this? I am going to write a whole post on that next week. However in the meantime, remember that this can be a 10 minute activity or a whole afternoon. For now, try after the kids go to sleep tonight, or at naptime, or at a tiny interval in which you can keep the kids occupied.  This is a great practice to teach the kids, and I will cover that too, but tonight, Mama, try it on your own and go to sleep early.

This is not meant to be a comprehensive guide on Hygge. If you would like to know more in depth information on it, you can check out these books below!

The Little Book of Hygge (by far my favorite, it really breaks everything down for you)

Making Winter: A Hygge-Inspired Guide to Surviving the Winter Months

A Year Of Living Danishly (I just got this one, I am excited to read it!)

Hygge: The Danish Art of Happiness

Stay tuned for more in the hygge series including How Moms can find time to hygge!!

Now that you have a basic understanding of Hygge what will you start implementing?


*This post contains affiliate links. That means if you make a purchase I may receive a small percentage, but it costs you nothing.

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