Reviving Hygge: the Scandi guide to a happier life

Reviving Hygge: the Scandi guide to a happier life

Relaxed life, cozy moments, feeling of freedom and happiness. Difficult to find a word for it in English, but in the Scandinavian world it has one word: Hygge.

Many say that besides the Scandi equality, high quality of life and great work-life balance, the secret of its happiness is hygge.. But what does it really consist of?

1. 1. Find the moment

Relax and enjoy the little things

Hygge consists of taking time each day to do what makes us feel good about the people we love or about ourselves. In addition to spending time effectively, to work and do all the daily tasks, Scandinavians find time to take care of themselves, relax and enjoy the little things.

2. 2. Open your home

Hygge can be created anywhere

Hygge can be created anywhere. An outdoor barbecue in the summer, a walk in a park, an aperitif, a dinner in a restaurant can be hygge. But generally, hygge is practiced at home.

3. 3. Create a favourable atmosphere

Hygge is about taking care of the little things

Take care of the lighting, make it cosy with candles and small lamps. Ceiling light is where higgle goes to die. Play good background music. A fireplace would be ideal, but candles are a must (our Nordic friends buy the largest amount of candles in the world). Fresh flowers on a wooden table, a well-placed tablecloth even if you eat alone, help to achieve a special touch that invites simple enjoyment. It's all about taking care of the little things to make you feel comfortable.

4. 4. Avoid anything that breaks that state of relaxation

Avoid anything that breaks that state of relaxation

No talking about politics or topics that may cause tension. The TV, iPad and phone also prevent those social connections that are hygge.

5. 5. It works best in small groups

Hygge works best in small groups

It depends on the size of your house and yourself, but we're told it works best in small groups. And it makes sense, because that way it's easier to have a conversation and not several parallel meetings.

6. 6. Think about the menu

Enjoy cooking in company

Cooking in company is also very common. You can get together with family or friends and make some meatballs from a traditional recipe or bake a cake.  Hygge can also mean buying some nice cheeses and a good wine and drinking it by candlelight.

7. 7. Keep your ancestors in mind

Having a soup in the family dishes is very hygge

Some say that hygge has to do with doing things that your ancestors would recognize. It is closely related to traditions and to activities or objects that have a sentimental value. Having a soup in the family dishes is very hygge, for example.

8. 8. Make yourself comfortable

Hygge has more to do with enjoyment

Although hygge has more to do with enjoyment than acts and things in particular, there are elements that help. Candles, which give warmth and light. Comfortable clothes. Stay in bed on Sunday under the duvet longer than usual, with a good book and a coffee. Or curl up on a sofa under a blanket with a cup of tea or hot chocolate to watch a movie.

9. 9. Do hygge things

Do something you like

It's important that it's something you like, and it's usually something simple. Some things are hygge for some and not for others. Hunting pokemons with friends might fit in, but being hooked on your mobile phone doesn't, because it's all about spending quality time with yourself and your loved ones.

10. 10. Express it

You can use the word hygge for many things. It describes that comfortable sweater you just wore, telling your kids, "Let's go see a movie" or "Let's play trivia and have some hygge". It is often used to share with your friends how good you feel about them at that moment.

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