Hygge, pronounced “hue-guh,” is a term hailing from Denmark to describe a feeling of comfort, stillness, coziness or charm that provokes the sensation of total well being. It is no surprise that there is no direct English translation for a word that embodies a sense of tranquility and consciousness to enjoy the very moment in which you are living. Hygge is considered the Danish way of life and an integral part of their cultural identity. It has also been described as ubiquitous to the city of Denmark. “The sidewalks are filled with smiling, hyggelige people, who keep lifting their hats to each other and who look at a stranger with an expression that indicates they wish they knew him well enough to lift their hats to him, too.”
It is likely that if you have ever spent a rainy afternoon snuggled up a good book, or a cold winter night by the fire, you have unknowingly experience hygge. Hygge is not something that is bought or sold in the trendiest markets. It is not a thing you can hold or a lifestyle you must adopt. It simply requires quieting of the mind and the awareness to recognize and enjoy the present moment. So instead of heading into the holiday season focused on the hustle and bustle, find happiness in the ordinary aspects of every day life and the quality time spent with the ones you hold dear. Instead of spending hours at the mall in search of the perfect present, take time to relax, recharge and enjoy doing nothing. Promote a season of simplicity, love and calmness.
It has been said that winter is the most hygge time of year. ‘Tis the season when candles are lit, wool sweaters reappear, cozy slippers keep us warm and we sip frothy lattes. It can be the sound of a crackling fire, laughter with friends over tea, the smell of freshly baked bread, or the feeling of being wrapped in a flannel blanket on a cold, dark winter night. Hygge is wholesome and nourishing. Danish doctors are known to recommend tea and hygge to cure the common cold. Whether you hygge alone or with friends this holiday season, make a conscious effort to slow down and relish in the charm, familiarity, comfort, happiness and simplicity of this time of year. Enjoy the good things in life, take joy in the simple pleasures and be kind to yourself and those around you.