Have you Heard of Hygge?

Last week, campus was pretty dreary and gloomy with its on-again, off-again rain showers and overcast skies. I often came back to residence from classes, wrapped myself in a blanket and made a cup of piping hot tea. In situations like these, we often have an indescribable feeling of coziness, happiness and warmth that’s hard to describe. Well, struggle no longer, the word that fully explains this feeling is hygge!

        

 

Pronounced ‘hoo-ga’, this word comes all the way from Denmark, where it has been accepted as an essential part of Danish life and culture. The Danes are obsessed with incorporating elements of hygge into their lifestyle in order to encourage well-being and contentment. Winter in Denmark is just as cold and terrible as winter here in Canada, but they manage to make the ‘world’s happiest countries’ list every year by embracing hygge.

 

 

Hygge is the acknowledgement of a feeling, or a moment, where you feel relaxed, warm, and at peace. You have likely experienced it without even knowing it, but now that you know about it, you can actively do things to be hygge!

 

So what can I do to “be hygge?”

 

There are many ways to access the benefits of hygge. Here are a few of the easiest (but also most important) ways to do so:

 

Candles

 

While candles aren’t an option if you’re living in residence (setting off the fire alarm isn’t worth the hygge benefits!), other forms of warm light, such as from fairy lights, are bound to make you feel just as cozy!

 

Blankets

 

Don’t let the limited surface area of your single dorm room bed stop you from piling on those blankets! I’ve got a fluffy king-sized blanket that never disappoints in the winter months.

 

Comfort Food

 

From your mom’s famous cookies to hot cocoa or a bowl of beef stew, everyone has a different comfort food. These types of foods may not be the best for us calorie-wise but they sure know how to cheer us up and make us feel at home.

 

Spending Time with Others

 

Being hygge all by yourself is totally fine, but inviting friends and family to share in the moment with you is just as great!

 

So as the temperature drops in the coming weeks and months and you find yourself with the “indoor blues,” try out some of these things to stay happy and warm, whether it’s by yourself or with a group of friends.

To learn more about how to be hygge, check out The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living by Meik Wiking or Hygge: The Danish Secrets of Happiness: How to be Happy and Healthy in Your Daily Life by Maya Thoresen.

 

Photo Credits: 1 (Pixabay), 2 (Matej Novosad), 3 (Daria Shevtsova), 4 (Brigitte Tohm), 5 (Helena Lopes)