For those of you who don’t avidly Pinterest or Instagram, or follow a number of the more hipster types on twitter (or you’re Danish) hygge might have bypassed me up to now. Let me introduce you. Visit Denmark puts it far better than I can…
‘Hygge is as Danish as pork roast and cold beer and it goes far in illuminating the Danish soul. In essence, hygge means creating a nice, warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people around you. The warm glow of candlelight is hygge. Friends and family – that’s hygge too. And let’s not forget the eating and drinking – preferably sitting around the table for hours on end discussing the big and small things in life. ‘
Essentially hygge is simple living Danish stylee. Friends, family, candlelight, food, warmth, cosiness. All the ingredients for an experience that money does not buy. So why is everyone getting obsessed with hygge over here all of a sudden? Because actually that kind of life, with no pressures, no deadlines, long leisurely dinners with candles, lingering over a glass or two of wine (rather than a bottle or two) is just not the average Brit’s lifestyle these days. We’re obsessed with more, more, more, faster , faster, faster. There’s no doubt that the simple living and mindfulness movements are gaining ground in response to this as people like me step off the treadmill shouting ‘enough already’.
Actually hygge is just another way of slowing down and experiencing, just like mindfulness. Of being present, of lingering in cosy surroundings and not putting pressure on yourself about tomorrow’s problems or worrying about yesterdays slights. Of being here, now. Isn’t it interesting that so many people are turning towards ideas that involve less buying, less time beavering away at work, less time trawling social media and the internet in exchange for time spent with yourself and a good book, with your loved ones and supper. I think we’re actually fed up with the fast life and are desperately looking for solutions that give us an antidote. For those who shiver in horror at the thoughts of meditating or moving mindfully around a bit like a Tai Chi master, hygge offers a more down to earth alternative. It sits very much with the mindful concept of being compassionate to yourself and others. What greater gift can you give someone you love than to spend quality time with them? Embracing comfy pyjamas and a night of the Archer’s omnibus is a great way of showing compassion to yourself in an otherwise hard edged week. So let’s embrace this latest craze. I’m off to light my candles.
If you’re interesting in exploring hygge for yourself, here’s an article on 8 ways to embrace hygge to get you started