Hygge is the Nordic concept of feeling comfort, warmth and joy in the simplest of situations. Since the idea was first developed in Denmark in the 18th Century it has been embraced by countries across the globe, encouraging people to slow down, and find inner peace and contentment in our day to day lives. Hygge (pronounced hue-gah) is credited with being one of the reasons the Danes are regarded as the happiest people on the planet, in spite of suffering long, hard winters. At Stiltz Home Elevators, the team look at which ideas we can borrow from the concept of hygge to help Canadians feel good throughout our winters.
One of the most important features of hygge is giving ourselves time to enjoy the good things in life, and the things that matter to us. In our modern lives there is always a distraction or a stress to occupy us. By turning off our phones and devices, and finding time each day to live in the moment and enjoy where we are right now, we can start to have moments of pure contentment that help to improve our mental wellbeing. In many ways hygge is a mind-set, and practising mindfulness or meditation will help to pave the way for the inner calm that goes hand in hand with hygge.
Indulge the senses
Hygge is about creating a warm and comfortable space with soft lighting, either surrounded by friends, or alone, calmly sheltering from dark, cold nights outside. It can be as simple as lighting a few candles and dimming the lights. But the more senses that are involved in the experience the better. Being wrapped up warm in cozy sweaters or a blanket, having a hot drink to enjoy, or even a scent burner with calming aromatherapy oils can help to make the moment all the more absorbing and therapeutic.
Comfort in the home
However, hygge is not just about particular peaceful moments, it is about prioritising comfort and security in daily life. This could be the time to review your home and work out if it is as safe and relaxing an environment as it could be. For example, if you worry about strangers coming to the door, a smart video doorbell could help to put your mind at rest. Or if you or your partner are starting to find the stairs more difficult, the installation of a home elevator could take the burden of worry. It could even be as simple as buying a blanket to keep on the sofa so that you can stay warm while resting in the evenings. Consider which small changes to your property would allow you to feel more
comfortable being at home. Then you can enjoy the feeling of peace knowing your home is perfectly adapted to your own needs.
To ensure that hygge becomes part of daily life, rather than just a passing idea, it is important to build regular practises into each day or week’s routine. Start the day with a coffee by candlelight maybe, or plan a home cooked family meal each evening. Start a games night each week, or make Sunday brunch a new weekly custom. Build in simple rituals to your day, such as lighting candles at each meal, making hot cocoa in the afternoon, or having an hour of reading before bed. By focussing on ways to create calm, content moments in the day like this, winter will start to feel less cold and dreary, and more a time for self-care, and coziness.