It seems to be the buzz word of the moment – Hygge. Every bookshop has multiple offerings on how to get some of it into your life. But, why would you want to? I mean, what even is it? Well the good news, is that I, Danielle have been trying to incorporate this little thing called Hygge into my life for the last year. Thanks to a brilliant little book I read called; The Year of Living Danishly.
I won’t go into to too much details on why I started looking into it all, that will come later this month when Natalie and I explore what Hygge means to us. But in order to follow a trend, it helps to know what all the fuss is about.
We British are a tough people. Stiff upper lip, the old dust yourself off and crack on attitude, which is great. It makes us Brits resilient, but it can also burn us out. How many of us have high powered jobs where working more than your contracted 9-5 hours is expected. Where deadlines and meetings might mean hours of prep after your working day is done. For those that once finished work have an army of little people to go home and look after. I think it’s safe to say we don’t really, as a collective, take time to really restore and recharge. We are always doing too much, and begrudging time for ourselves.
But when your going that extra mile, having broken sleep, running around like a headless chicken then our body’s tend to crack under the pressure and we get ill. But rather than rest, we normally keep pushing ourselves until we really get ill and are forced to stay at home and recover. First of all, getting ill is an alarm bell in one – our body’s way of saying “stop, slow down”. For me, this was where it all came to a head, the flu – bed bound, fever, only then did I force myself to make some changes.
How can Hygge help all of this? Well it can’t stop your busy life from being any busier, but it can help introduce ways to help you to relax and switch off. Hygge is almost like a concept. It’s all the good things in life, dinner with your friends at home in candlelight, chatting and catching up over red wine. Indulging in pastries. Running a hot relaxing bath and reading a book or a magazine. It applies to so much. And I see why the Danes make this concept almost like a ritual. For instance, the Danes burn the most candles in the world, they spend their cold, dark winters months snuggled up inside, getting Hygge and adorning candlelight. I want to live there.
Hygge is more than just over indulging. It’s also about stopping and being present. Not caring about your curfew and having another glass of wine. Not caring about your waistline and having another cake. It’s really about truly letting go and just being present. Having fun with no strings attached. It really is all about letting go. (Starts singing Frozen in my head).
I admit, it seems almost alien. I really struggled to grasp the concept to begin with. (I can’t switch off you see.) but for my anxiety and mental health, Hygge has been life changing. You first need to shake the guilt for having some ‘me time’ and factor some in everyday. Evenentually it becomes habit and it then becomes the part of the day you look forward to most. Think of it as your daily warm down. Hygge is the warm down to your busy life, preparing you for relaxation.
Candles, candles and more candles. It’s time to get your space all romantic and lit up danish style. You can splurge on some fancy ones (Diptique, NEOM) or save your pennies for wine and stock up on some more affordable ranges from the likes of TK Maxx or Home Sense. Either way, getting involved in the candle Hygge movement really sets a rather nice ambience, perfect for relaxing in.
Good friends, good food, and wine, lots and lots of wine. Who needs a better excuse to get the girls round? Make this a weekly staple in the winter months, have yourself your very own come dine with me evening, or just get everyone round for a night of indulging, good chat and of course wonderful wine. Making memories and being relaxed with friends seems to be a big part of the Hygge concept. The more the merrier we say. Who’s coming round for dinner?
Pampering & indulging. As if the above isn’t enough to sway you into a life with more Hygge this ought to do it. Hygge is all about relaxing, so running ourself a hot bath with some soothing salts and oils surrounded by candlelight and soft music (and more wine) is a prescription required weekly. Getting over this feeling of “I can’t stop” and actually stopping so you can enjoy life is a big part of this. You deserve this bath, this time. Stop thinking about the deadline, the meetings and just sink into your bath and be.
Hygge is all about you. So make it personal, make it habit. Your mental health & wellbeing will love you for it. And for all those SAD sufferers (ie ME) this is a great one to combat the blues of dark nights.
So join us this month as we embark on a Hygge Movement. Let’s take a leaf out of the happy Danes book and get our Hygge on.
Danielle & Natalie
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