Hygge is a fairly new term to me, but once I started to research it, I knew I needed more of it in my life. Hygge (pronounced hue-guh) is a danish term for living comfortably and cozy in your everyday life. I find this definition quite vague and hygge is so much more than just being cozy. It’s a feeling of contentment. Feeling safe and satisfied in your surroundings. Being able to relax and unwind and just be you. It’s relationships and getting to know one another. It’s slowing down and making time for what’s important to you. You can’t buy hygge, you must feel it.
I suppose before I knew what hygge was, I was already embracing it. I just didn’t have the term coined. I was already doing things to simplify my life in order to have that feeling. If you embrace hygge as a lifestyle, it’ll come natural as opposed to thinking of it as an object you are trying to obtain. For example, planting a flower garden can bring someone an abundance of joy. It is a lot of hard work to start and to tend to, however, if you spend enough time caring for it, you will have beautiful flowers all season long. You can take a stroll in your flower garden or sit near it and admire your hard work. You can clip those flowers and make arrangements that you can give as a random gift to others or you can make your own bouquet and enjoy a fresh centerpiece on your kitchen table. Hygge is much more than a pretty flower in a vase; it’s rather a lifestyle that you form from all the things that strengthen your soul.
What does hygge mean to me? I’ve compiled a list of my own ideas and activities that I hope will inspire you to join in on the fun. Here is what I’ve come up with by season.
- We have a furnace, but we also have a wood stove in our basement. In the winter months, we prefer to heat our house with the wood stove, and not just because it saves on energy bills (although that is a bonus, too!) I love the smell of wood burning. It brings me back to my childhood when we would have bonfires by the lake in the summer time. A faint glow coming from the stove makes for such an inviting space. Don’t have a wood stove? Try to recreate the feeling with your fireplace or even build your own tabletop fire pit with this tutorial from The Art of Doing Something.
- Occasionally, I opt for a bath instead of a shower. I pour some vanilla-scented bath salts in while drawing the bath and soak for a while. It’s a nice spot to clear my mind while letting my body relax from a long day. I like to wrap myself in a fuzzy robe and slippers when I get out.
- We’ve recently started a new tradition in our house; homemade waffles every Saturday mornings. We all look forward to it each week. We use whatever toppings we have in the fridge; blueberries, strawberries, whipped cream, cinnamon apples, chocolate. The actual act of making the waffles gets us all in the kitchen and cooking next to each other.
- Winter is known for magical holidays and a time to give. We try and live minimally, so this year, we decided to make our gifts. Homemade soaps make for a fun and personal gift giving idea. You can get really creative with different scents. See a fun tutorial here from The Spruce.
- Movie night is always a hit at our house. The most stressful part is picking out the movie, but I always have popcorn ready and a go-to movie on standby if we can’t decide. Invite friends over and have a popcorn bar with different toppings. Grab all of your blankets and pillows and spread them across the living room for all to curl up and enjoy!
- We spend a lot of time remembering lost loved ones. In our home, we do this by lighting a candle in remembrance of them. Take time to sit and reflect on the joyous memories and what you loved most about them. Talk about funny stories and share in their favorite things; maybe its a certain food, game or book they loved.
- Here in the states, springtime means the melting of snow! Invite your neighbors over for a cup of coffee every Tuesday morning or appetizers on Wednesday nights. Get to know them and talk about different events in the neighborhood.
- The humane society is always looking for volunteers to walk the dogs. Sign up and spread your love to those animals. GO for a nice, brisk walk and enjoy the sunshine. Just be careful, you might end up taking a few dogs home with you, if you’re anything like me! Find your local shelter here.
- Wash your clothes then hang them to dry. A simple and easy task and you have to do laundry anyway, so why not? It’ll leave your clothes smelling crisp and fresh! Here is a tutorial from Wellness Mama for homemade laundry detergent that is HE machine safe.
- Is there something you’ve always wanted to learn about? Go to your local library and find a book about said topic. Perhaps you want to learn to knit or cook or sew. Now is the time.
- Hygge is about spending time with those that you enjoy spending time with. Invite your closest friends over for a seafood boil. Throw a red and white checkered tablecloth on the table and use your hands for utensils. Easy cleanup and full tummies! Here is our favorite recipe.
- Roll your windows down. Let your hair get messy and feel that breeze on your face. If you want, crank up that music and sing along.
- Saturday nights in the summertime are known for milkshakes in our home. Night-night snack consists of chocolate and vanilla ice-cream in the blender. It’s a nice way to cool down after a hot day.
- Pick some wildflowers or the flowers that are starting to bloom in your garden. Make a nice floral arrangement in your favorite vase and set it in the middle of your table. I love these around-the-house floral arrangements you can DIY from Country Living. Don’t have a garden? Pick up a bouquet at your local farmers market.
- If you live near the beach, or even when you vacation, wake up one morning before the sun rises and collect sea shells. It is the best time of day to collect them before the beach goers stash them all. Bring a bucket, sweatshirt and good company.
- Volunteer at a soup kitchen in the fall. The weather is starting to get cooler and those in need will be looking for a warm meal. Make it a goal of yours to strike up a meaningful conversation with someone there.
- Now that summer is winding down, go off grid for the weekend. Turn off your cellphone and use as little technology and energy as possible. Rent a cabin in the woods or stay home. Free your mind of distractions and enjoy nature’s beauty.
- Do you and a loved one have a favorite song? Turn it on and dance out on the deck under the stars. Enjoy a glass of wine and talk about what the future holds. Sound too cliche and romantic? Spice it up by playing your favorite card game. Date nights in-house are good for your soul. Check out these other in-home date night ideas from Six Sisters’ Stuff.
- Make dinner using only food from your vegetable garden. A fresh meal is always a treat and if you’ve had a good harvest there is usually food to share. Try a build-your-own salad or grilled veggie pizza.
- My husband is an avid hunter. He loves being outdoors and is thrilled when he is able to provide meat for our family. Every year in the fall, he will setup his smoker and spend about 6 hours total, slowly smoking the venison and making jerky out of it. The recipe has been a family secret for generations! Don’t hunt? You can smoke just about any meat. Don’t have a smoker? You can achieve a similar taste in your oven.