Monday Musings: Hygge Fall
Updated: Nov 22, 2020
I'm sure you've heard about Hygge, and you may even know how to pronounce it (hoo-ga)! Since it's officially fall and this magical Danish concept is perfect for this transitional time of year, I'm sharing how I personally inject hygge into my own home and life.
On those cold fall mornings, when I roll out of bed and layer on my unbelievably soft Barefoot Dreams cardigan to brew some Starbuck's Winter Blend coffee...that's hygge. When my husband and I are sitting in the kitchen as he cooks white chicken chili and I drink red wine...that's hygge. The glow of candles in the evening surrounding a toasty fire while I crochet on the couch...that's hygge. Get the idea?
The Little Book of Hygge
My introduction to Hygge was Meik Wiking's book The Little Book of Hygge, which I read several years ago. I highly recommend this one on audiobook, narrated by Wiking (especially because you'll be able to properly pronounce "Hygge" by the end of the recording). Wiking is CEO at the Happiness Research Institute in Denmark, and he has studied hygge both quantitatively and qualitatively, sharing all the highlights in this charming little book.
If this is your intro to hygge or just a refresher, Wiking's Hygge Manifesto is a great reference.
The Hygge Manifesto by Meik Wiking
It all seems to start with lighting. Lighting both sets the mood and extends our days despite the early sunset of this season. Lighting hygge is best implemented through candles, which exude an "emotional coziness." In fact, according to Wiking, Denmark uses six kilos of candle wax per capita each year. Hygge can also be brought in with a variety of warm lamp lighting. After recently re-listening to this book, I may have purchased a few new lamps and candles for our main living areas, just to more fully enhance the hygge!
Hygge is a central element of Danish culture and life. It influences food, style, friendships and traditions. Wiking notes that there is no direct English translation, but it most closely means "hominess." The other feelings it describes include:
If you are looking for a few ways to add hygge to your life as the days grow darker and the weather turns cool, here are some additional ideas from The Little Book of Hygge and my own experience with the concept:
Create a Hygge Pinterest board and implement one idea every time you're feeling cold or down.
Spend time together in small groups. Throughout this COVID-19 pandemic, you may have established this tradition already, with a small "bubble" of friends or family.
Treat yourself to sweets such as warm drinks or a favorite cake. These cinnamon apples might be a good recipe to try!
When making a purchase, connect it with a positive experience. Grab that new jacket when you get a promotion or buy a pair of sandals while on a wonderful vacation.
Decorate - Add lamps, candles and cozy blankets to set the fall mood.
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