Samantha is an Ottawa-based writer who runs a crafty side hustle creating jewellery for her nature-inspired brand. When she's not killing the craft show game, she indulges in good food frequently, enjoys cuddling with her pug, and is a sucker for a good Netflix binge. Learn more about Samantha @samanthadolly on Instagram.
In recent months, you’ve probably heard the world hygge circling around. Pronounced hoo-gah, hygge is the Danish ritual of enjoying life's simple pleasures. It doesn’t really have an exact translation, as it encompasses several different things like a cozy moment, a warm feeling or calming atmosphere.
Hygge has been an important part of Danish culture since the 1800s, and more and more people are incorporating it into their lifestyles — and for good reason, too! The best part about hygge is that it doesn’t require a major design overhaul, nor is it a high maintenance trend. You can easily go hygge with things you already have around the house and by changing up your everyday routine.
1. Get cozy
Have you ever cozied up on the couch with your fur baby and sipped on a steaming cup of tea? You’re already a hygge pro! The Danes love a good hyggekrog — a place where you can get cozy. Grab a book, tuck your phone away and get lost in a story for the afternoon.
True, being hygge encourages that you wear your most-worn sweatpants and knit socks while lounging around at home, but that’s not to be confused with being lazy. Binge watching Netflix all day by yourself, while the chores pile up does not count. But taking a little time to yourself each day, whether that’s soaking in a warm bath, or listening to your favourite music at home, counts for a whole lot.
3. Get lit
A warm fire stocked with logs is so hygge, but if you live in a one-bedroom high-rise, chances are you won’t be lighting a fire anytime soon. Luckily, turning off bright overhead lights and lighting your favourite scented candles still counts. In fact, Danes burn the most wax compared to any other country in the world. It’s all about the atmosphere and simplifying things. Power down and lighting up is a great place to start.
4. Get together
There’s a lot of things you may think are hygge, but are far from it. If chatting with friends and family via text all day is your idea of the Danish lifestyle, it’s not. Staying in touch is important, but hygge encourage togetherness and spending physical time together with friends and family. Invite your besties over and spend an evening bonding instead of vegetating alone.
5. Go back to basics
If you depend on takeout food and microwave dinners to survive, going hygge could be the culinary sign you are looking for. Go back to basics and try cooking a meal from scratch once a week. It doesn’t have to be difficult, letting a pot of homemade soup simmer on the stove is ideal and will smell great. Bonus points if you invite someone over the share.
The Danes can’t stress the power of simplicity enough. There’s no need for clutter or expensive things. When you go hygge, you embrace homemade things, rustic furniture and plants. If you’re looking to add a little more hygge to your home this winter, wrap yourself up in your grandma’s old quilt and pop a few extra succulents on your windowsill.