The winter months can be long and arduous. Especially this year, with record rainfall, although that is much needed, can put a damper on the true California lifestyle which is so often steeped in the outdoors. There are a few more weeks of winter left, and the Nordic tradition of Hygge is just what you and your home needs to make it through to warmer, and sunnier, weather. When you imagine the perfect rainy winter day indoors, does it include hot tea, a great book, a fire and warm cozy blankets? That is the essence of this winter lifestyle.
Hygge, pronounced either as "hyue-gar," "hoog-jar" but most commonly "hoo-gah", “ broadly means an approach to living that embraces positivity and enjoyment of everyday experiences”. Another way to define this movement is, “a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being.” Ultimately, you are removing distractions in your life that do not promote a lifestyle of warmth and well-being. Often this approach to life is translated to one’s physical environment, aiming to create a home what allows you to revel in life’s everyday moments, even if those moments are in the rainy, chilly Northern California winter.
Here are a few ways to incorporate hygge into your home, and let the cozy culture infiltrate your life:
Splurge on quality. Hygge can be incorporated into your lifestyle by finding those things northern European countries tend to cherish. Filling your environment with those items that exude comfort through, lux materials, aesthetically aware design, and exceptional quality, is sure to help hygge-ify any locale.
Focus on that which soothes the soul. The concepts of hygge must not be limited to material possessions, but your possessions must enhance that which your soul feels. Using your environment to promote peace and calm is what this lifestyle is all about. So, seek out products and experiences that provide warmth to your space as well as your soul.
Breathe deeply, and think positively. “We cannot control outside events, but we can control ourselves”. This world, although crazy, is infinitely glorious and is in need of awe. Hygge begs its followers to live in the present and to find that joy in all experiences, regardless the endeavor or situation.
Live thankfully. Hygge is all about doing things and feeling things that warm the soul. At the basic level of this ideal is to create a life of purpose, peace, and pleasure. This starts with a calm and thankful heart, ready to enjoy all life gives you.
Hygge can be created through thought, aesthetics at home, or by the people, things, and experiences with which you choose to surround yourself. A cozy atmosphere, a clear mind, and happy heart are three ways you are sure to reap the benefits of this Nordic lifestyle in your own life.
For more information and additional reading:
“The Year of Hygge, the Danish Obsession with Getting Cozy”, The New Yorker
“Hygge, the Nordic Trend That Could Help You Survive 2016”, Time Magazine