Candlelight, thick wool socks, cinnamon buns and steaming teacups - if you search for #hygge on Instagram, you'll spot at least one of these things. "Hygge" is Danish, meaning coziness. and is one of the most important lifestyle trends of recent years. No wonder - because behind the word Hygge is a whole concept of life that makes you happier, more relaxed and completely satisfied. An effective recipe for leaving everyday stress behind you in your own four walls.
„Hygge must be learned"writes David Hugendick in an article in ZEIT ONLINE. That's right - because hygge is an attitude to life that takes time. A philosophy that teaches us to be more mindful of ourselves and our fellow human beings.
Learning to love small things
The secret to a hyggelige life? It's simple, family and friends come first, time outdoors counts more than media consumption. Coffee and cake at home are more fashionable than lunch at the hip bistro around the corner and home-knitted socks are in again.
Hygge means learning to appreciate the little things in life. It brings tranquility to a world where crises and digital information overload are on the agenda. It is equally opposed to excessive consumption, but is gentler and less radical than the Minimalism. After all, it's supposed to be "hygge", i.e. cosy. So even small habits are enough to be serene and happier:
Exercise and time in the fresh air is a wonderful remedy against stress - no matter if you go to the mountains, the forest or just for a little walk in the city park. While you take a long break in the sun in good weather, you enjoy the peace and the good air in wind and rain. Afterwards you snuggle up at home in a wonderfully warm blanket - the worse the weather, the nicer the time in the warmth afterwards.
Practical: Walking alleviates the physical reactions to stress. For example, regular outdoor exercise reduces high blood pressure, improves Skin and has even been proven to counteract mental illnesses such as depression.
What a shame that you often don't feel like running around outside. Especially when it's cold outside and it's just more fun to watch the new favorite series on Netflix. If it's too boring to just walk around, listen to an audio book during the walk, collect chestnuts or beautiful branches for hyggelige home decor.
Bake cinnamon buns
With a Scandinavian-influenced lifestyle, the right food can't be missing. How nice that Cinnamon buns (Kanellbullar) are quick and easy to bake - they are a must on a hyggel afternoon and provide that extra portion of cosiness.
Drink tea and hot chocolate
It gets really hyggelig when there is tea or hot chocolate. Teas with lemon balm and lavender and green tea have a calming effect. And we know anyway that chocolate is an effective last-minute helper against stress.
Tip: It's not just at home that we can have a cup of tea or chocolate to relax - this ritual also gives us a brief moment of peace at work. Important: Enjoy the drink i.e. sit on the couch at home (without your smartphone) and turn away from your screen at work. After this little break, you can really get going again.
What could be more comfortable than handling thick balls of wool and knitting? - "Quite a few things," will claim those who were dreading needlework class in school. But the fact is that knitting helps against stress in about the same way as Yoga or Thai chi. Why? The constant repetition that occurs when knitting the stitches, puts the brain in a kind of meditationwhere you can fully relax. Beginners start with a simple project. Practical: Today there are many blogs and vlogs with detailed instructions to follow.
spend time with friends
Hygge also means community. It is a important part of our lives and essential for most people to feel comfortable in their surroundings. Because family and friends are good listeners, who help you over stressful times, distract you and give you the necessary support during a crisis. Thus, family and friends are a top priority in the Scandinavian lifestyle.
So spend more time with them and consciously experience beautiful moments that you can benefit from in stressful or sad times. These don't even have to be big trips or vacations: Instead, how about a communal dinnerthat you make together? Also Game nights or walks are good for the soul and ensure your inner well-being. Also: Stop working on time and do something nice - this gives you strength and motivates you for the rest of the week.
Read or listen to an audio book
Many people spend several hours a day on their smartphones - it's high time to take a look at the Turn off your smartphone. That doesn't mean you should just go for a walk and cook instead. Just pick up your favorite book again or try an audio book. In the meantime you can switch off wonderfully.
Even unpopular chores like cleaning or tidying up are much easier with an audio book. But it gets hyggelig when you make yourself really comfortable with a good (audio) book. This works best in a reading corner and with your favourite biscuits - almost a Mini vacation at home.
keep a diary
Maybe you wrote a diary as a child or teenager - today you might rather use Instagram or Facebook. But the oldschool version is not so bad. For example, if you wish for more success or have the feeling that you are often depressed, a diary can help you. Diary to be happier and to achieve your goals permanently.
Especially in autumn and during the Christmas season, it's hard to imagine living magazines and social media without "hygge". The Scandinavian lifestyle is in high season, so to speak. No wonder - because everyone wants to make it nice at home now. But you shouldn't lose sight of the off-season either. Because hygge is not only in the cold season but also in spring and summer.
Tea and hot chocolate are exchanged for homemade lemonade. Picnics with colorful lanterns and a pancake cake alla Peterson and Findus replace the hyggeligen Sunday brunch in front of the fireplace. What must not be missing in the Hygge summer is the Work on the balcony and in the garden. What could be better than growing your own herbs, delicious tomatoes and juicy raspberries? Because the Working with plants is good for the soul, calms and provides a nice sense of achievement when we finally reap the first fruits.
Even if you find it difficult at first to integrate the above-mentioned habits regularly into your everyday life - with the right home accessories, it almost goes by itself. The origin of the hygge lifestyle is also reflected in the interior. Light, neutral colours are combined with solid wood, lambskins and candlelight.
Simple design is in the foreground and Sustainability is also a high priority when it comes to living. The beloved chest of drawers from the flea market or even the self-made stool made of solid wood fit wonderfully into your hyggelige home.
No matter how minimalist your home is decorated - most of the time a few Cushion, a Wool blanket and a Carpet contribute to the cosiness of your home. If you want to furnish your home hyggelig, should not save on these accessories. Cushions in different sizes for the sofa, a bed with several plaids on top of each other, chair pads made of felt and blankets in XXL knit - the main thing in your home is that there is as much as possible for your guests and you. Possibilities for warmth and well-being.
That indirect light creates a cosy ambience is no secret. The easiest way to do this is with candles. Lighting a candle can also serve as a ritual, for example, to think of someone or to Meditation exercise. Scented candles can also contribute to relaxation. Who does not like candles, uses indirect spotswhose light can be dimmed. This creates a soothing as well as cozy atmosphere.
Hygge living means live naturally - this is also true when it comes to table culture. The tableware is simple, the table decoration is at best a souvenir from the last walk - such as an autumn bouquet of various branches and colorful leaves in autumn or a colorful bouquet full of meadow flowers in summer. The tableware does not have to be fragile at all.
Rustic plates and bowls made of clay or thick ceramics fit perfectly on the Scandinavian dining table. The most beautiful is when it is made of solid wood and has one or two quirks. Friends of tablecloths choose models made of coarse linen.
Wood and hygge absolutely belong together. Because wood grows in nature, where we relax and let our souls dangle. Wood warms us in cold winter days at the fireplace. Furniture made of wood is wonderfully unagitated and therefore a must for your hygge home. Scandinavian design today is characterized by clear forms without a lot of frills out. Furniture should robust and stable pieces for eternity.
Only a few lucky people today have the wherewithal to regularly visit a spa to treat themselves to a break from everyday life. The good news is that you can easily create a mini spa out of your own bathroom, which is a wonderful way to relax even without a sauna or rain shower. If you have a bathtub, you can already relax in it with Bath Salts, Scented candles and a fleecy bathrobe a relaxing time-out.
In the shower, a Peeling from fragrant body oil and coarse sea salt for that spa feeling. Colour-coordinated towels, storage boxes made of sea grass and shower mats made of natural materials such as bamboo transform your bathroom into your personal wellness area within a short time.
Your home will look natural and simple with the right colour scheme. With Scandinavian design, neutral colours such as white and beige dominate. It doesn't matter whether you prefer light or dark colours. It is important that the colours of the rooms are coordinated and offer the eye a resting place. So you can relax after a stressful day with all your senses.
Scandinavian interiors and small everyday rituals are all well and good - but above all Hygge means serenity: Taking life as it is and making the best of it is a recipe for happiness that succeeds with just a few ingredients.
Text: Natalie Grolig