6 Ways To Get More Hygge In Your Life
I first learnt about hygge (pronounced hoo-ga) when Sam and I went to Copenhagen back in March. The hotel that we stayed at had a "cosy hour" or hygge hour everyday between 5 and 6pm. They lit all the candles, handed out snuggly blankets and gave everyone a free glass of wine. The idea was that everyone would warm up after a chilly day exploring the city and get chatting to the other guests.
The hotel staff explained that hygge and being cosy was an essential part of Danish life and I was so intrigued. So when Penguin got in touch to ask if I'd like to receive a copy of The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking, I jumped at the chance.
I loved the book - it was informative and beautiful in equal measures. I learnt a lot more about how hygge is connected to happiness, and it inspired me to think about how I can change some of my own habits to incorporate a little bit more cosiness into my life.
So today I thought I'd share with you 6 ways to add a bit more hygge into your life. They're all making me way too excited for the autumn/winter period, so sorry if you're a big summer fan...
1) Create your own cosy space
A big part of practicing hygge is making sure that you have a super cosy space to relax in. Think blankets, cushions and many a candle (the Danes recommend at least 5!). I'm lucky enough to have two places in our house that make me feel instantly at peace - one is the armchair in our attic room (which is conveniently located next to the bookshelf) and the other is our living room, complete with a comfy sofa and cosy lighting.
2) Cook more slow cooked meals
Slow living is a big part of a hygge lifestyle and therefore slow cooked food goes hand in hand with creating a bit more cosiness. Is there anything more homely and delicious than the smell and sound of something bubbling away in the oven? Some of my faves include Tom Kerridge's slow roast lamb and this three-hour pork belly. Yum.
3) Organise a book swap
Reading Wiking's book, one thing hit me - an important factor in creating an atmosphere of hygge is great conversation about things you care about. Plus, swapping and sharing things is also very hygge. So what better way to get that cosy and lovely feeling than by swapping some of your favourite books with some of your favourite people? You get extra hygge points if you do it in the cosiness of your own home, preferably over a glass of wine or a cup of tea.
4) Up your hot drink game
Hot drinks are essential to hygge, and to really get into the spirit, you're probably going to need to up your game. I'm planning on buying some fancy teas from Whittard's, but you could also work on perfecting your hot chocolate recipe, or treat yourself to some mulled cider. Coffee is also synonymous with hygge, so maybe you could search out some really good beans for the perfect brew.
5) Embrace board games
An important part of hygge is being totally in the moment. I find that it's pretty much impossible to be fully engaged in an intense game of Scrabble while also scrolling through Instagram, so an evening of board games might just be what you need to add a bit more hygge to your life. A popular one amongst our friends and family is Trivial Pursuit - we still talk about some of the fierce rivalries from Christmases gone past now!
6) Leave work on time
Another point that really resonated with me when reading The Little Book of Hygge was the fact that the vast majority of Danes leave work on time. This means they have more time to spend nurturing their relationships and relaxing in their cosy spaces and cooking those delicious slow cooked meals. It makes sense really - the more time you have to spare, the easier it is to prioritise the practice of cosiness, which in turn makes you happier and more productive.
Have you ever heard of hygge before? Do you have any tips on how to get more of it in your life? I would definitely recommend reading The Little Book of Hygge if you'd like to find out more!