I recently wrote a post about What Hygge Is and why you should know about it. I was anxious to write about it again. It’s great to understand the basics of hygge, but it’s another thing to know how to apply it as a mom of littles. Before we look at the application let’s look at why it would improve your life.
Why you should hygge
Part of hygge is self care, Denmark is the happiest country in the world and part of that is attributed to hygge. Take a minute to think about what it would feel like if you felt content in life. Even in those crazy days of overflowing diapers, breaking up fights, saving little ones from danger you could feel a little more content with where you are in life. Hygge is more of a feeling than an act, more of a way of being than things to be done.
Hygge doesn’t require you to do more, but to enjoy the down time you already have. In the U.S. our culture says go, when hygge says slow. It encourages more purposeful rest, but also more meaningful time with others. So let’s get down to the nitty gritty, how does a mama do this without feeling like it’s one more thing on the to-do list?In the U.S., our culture says go, when hygge says slow Click To Tweet
How to build hygge in your day
The Danes are so successful at hygge because it’s part of their culture, it’s habit, it’s life. Its not something more to do, but something they look forward to, a habit. When you get into the habit of hygge you are far more successful than trying to force some kind of self care upon yourself.
So if this is all new to you, start with one thing that you can do everyday. Like sitting somewhere comfy and drinking a hot beverage or cozying up with a soft throw and a good book. Start with what you have. Five minutes in the morning? 10 minutes after the kids go to bed? Pick one thing that sounds the coziest and go from there.
After you have made one thing a habit, add in another. Having a time where you put your phone in another room in order to be present, or take a minute to jot something down in a journal, even spending a few minutes to do something you love doing (like a puzzle that can be tucked away). Hygge can be done with kids and something you enjoy as a family or on your own, start where you are and add in more as you can.
A weekly or monthly habit could help you enjoy the company of others as well. Maybe a once a week meet with other moms where they bring their kids and you hang out with no agenda. I have friends who set up a supper club and switch up whose house it is at every month. Cooking with others for the sake of cooking is something that is very hyggeligt (hygge-like).As you build on habits you will start to notice those moments where you are content, relaxed and feel connected with others.
Your home can play a huge part in the way you feel day in and day out. If it is not conducive to hygge currently, there are small touches you could add to help those quick moments you do have to enjoy. Create a cozy sitting spot, add texture with a throw, a rug, or a pillow, even adjust the type of lightbulbs.
Lighting plays a huge role in the home décor of those in Denmark. They pick their lighting very purposefully. Soft lighting like candle light or lower wattage bulbs are often chosen, or a style of lamp that disperses the light in a softened way works. If you have small children that may touch the light, battery operated lights or fairy lights in a jar can also create the same effect as a candle.
When you begin to spend time of rest and slowing down with hygge, take a few minutes to find a way to tweak your environment to welcome more of the hygge lifestyle. It doesn’t have to involve spending money, but some creativity can go a long way. I have included a few ideas for inspiration below, but feel free to use what you have around the house and get creative.
“No Hygge without anti-hygge”
I came across this phrase in the Little Book of Hygge and this is what really solidified this idea for me. That yes, I can hygge at times but there’s also a lot of times where everything feels very opposite of this idea. That’s ok! Hygge can be your safe haven, the thing you look forward to at its appointed time. Hygge can be your example to your children that taking care of yourself is a good thing and can even be enjoyed with others.
So hygge on mama!