Have You Heard of Hygge? The Nation's Newest Lifestyle Trend

While words such as “Brexit” and “Trumpism” were added to the Oxford English Dictionary, the term “hygge” quietly made its way onto the list. One of the most significant lifestyle trends to emerge in America in 2016, hygge (pronounced hoo-gah) is the Danish philosophy of intimacy, comfort, and happiness. Hygge is wearing chunky-knit socks in front of a blazing fire. It’s sitting around a table with your closest friends, laughing and sipping warm drinks. It can be the first morning light touching your room through open windows, or even just reading a book every evening in your favorite spot. Most of all, it is creating comfort and security in the beauty of our everyday lives. The CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen, Meik Wiking, just released The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living, which I’ve ordered in the name of...um...research.

If you’re not convinced that Hygge is for you, just take a look at some of the things that are considered 100% hygge: candles, cake, fires, warm drinks (tea, anybody?), warm blankets, lit fireplaces. Need I go on? While many say that the Danish have crafted this concept to cope with the monotony of frigid winters and small-scale life, it seems to also be the perfect lifestyle addition to the stressed-out college student. But it’s quite obvious that we can’t just run around lighting fires in our dorm rooms and shirking our assignments to have tea parties with friends. So here are some ways that you can incorporate hygge into your college life:

1. Create a “Hyggekrog”

A hyggekrog AKA “cozy-nook” is a place where you go to escape and relax. It usually involves a comfy blanket (or three) and pillows. You can make this spot in your dorm room, or back up your fuzziest blanket and make your way to a quiet corner in the library. The sunny reading room in McCain would be perfect, especially if the librarians have the fire going. If you really have to, you can get some homework done in your little spot, but ideally you should just be enjoying a warm cup of coffee or tea and doing something to unwind, like reading a book or napping.

2. Netflix with Friends

A major tenant of hygge is enjoying time with friends indoors. A very common pastime for Danish hygge-ers is staying in to watch their favorite drama television shows on TV. So, gather up some friends to have a Netflix watch-party with lots of pillows, blankets, and hot chocolate. Some noteworthy shows to watch include The OA, Sherlock, and Black Mirror.

3. Microwave Yourself a Little Something

Microwaved food doesn’t have the best reputation for luxury and happiness, but there are thousands of recipes out there for impressive dorm cooking. Once you’ve cooked yourself something delicious and warm, take it back to your cozy space and enjoy. Here are ten recipes that you can microwave in a mug. I’m most excited for the Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake and the Nutella Cake. Comfort food is about as hygge as it gets.

4. Get Naked...If You’re into That

Hear me out. If you don’t already love being naked (you know who you are), it can be so satisfying to just hang around in your underwear, or none, especially when you’re wrapped up in a cozy blanket. If you’re anything like me, you know that taking off your pants at the end of the day is one of the greatest feelings you can have. If getting naked isn’t for you, then do the opposite! Get dressed into your most comfortable clothes and get down to the business of being comfy.

 

You don’t have to stress to plan events with friends or buy new blankets to incorporate hygge into your life. Taking time to enjoy beauty and happy moments already in your life is one of the best ways to live with more hygge.

 

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