The Danish word ‘hygge’ (pronounced ‘hoo-gah’) roughly translates as ‘cosiness’. The concept has taken off in western Europe and Essex in the last few years as the Danish are consistently rated as some of the happiest people in the world, despite their long winters and harsh weather. Basically, achieving hygge means taking time to try to be present to enjoy the little things.
Hygge doesn’t mean buying anything, eating a certain way or decorating your home in a certain style. It just means taking the time to enjoy life however you want to! We know how hard it can be to take time for yourself in the busy months leading up to Christmas, especially when you have a demanding job, young children and British weather to contend with - so we’ve put together a quick guide to adding some hygge to your life.
Smell the Roses (or the scented candles)
What’s your favourite scent? Can you find it in the form of a scented candle, incense stick or perfume? Filling your home, car and even your pockets with something that smells nice will boost your spirits on gloomy days. Even if you just buy the same shampoo you took on your holiday and use that in the winter months, you’ll be reminded of summer every time you wash your hair!
Put Your Phone Down
Just for five minutes. Social media is a fun way of keeping up with friends (and showing off a bit, let’s be honest) but research has shown that too much social media can lead to a decline in mental health including feelings of isolation and a drop in self esteem. So instead of spending five minutes Instagramming your gorgeous dinner, why not take five extra minutes to eat it slowly and savour every mouthful? When you’re out with the family, concentrate on what you’re doing instead of photographing what you’re doing. Your brain will remember the day without 10 accompanying photos, promise.
Spend Time With Friends
In person, not online! We know the run up to Christmas is hectic, and taking the time to meet up with friends can become more stressful than it is relaxing, especially if you have to organise childcare or travel long distances in iffy weather. So why not meet for a coffee during a lunchbreak instead of dinner at the weekend? How about a phone or Skype call or FaceTime while you’re both watching the same TV show? If you’d like to get together for a dinner party but can’t decide who should host, why not go out to a local party night? A good chat with a friend or a group of friends will lift your spirits by miles.