If ever there was a trend to get excited about, Hygge (pronounced “hoo-gah”) is the one my friends and if you don’t know your Hygge (Danish) from your Fika (Swedish); find a cosy spot, light a candle, brew a warm drink, pull on some cosy knitwear and I’ll begin…
Hygge is a Danish term defined as ‘A quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being’. Attributed as the key to the Danes consistently topping the charts as the ‘Happiest people on Earth’, the secret is out and with an influx of Hygge themed books flooding our shelves, it would seem that there couldn’t be a better time for taking stock of our lives and finding pleasure in the simpler things. According to Meik Wiking, CEO of The Happiness Research Institute and author of The Little Book of Hygge, ‘Benjamin Franklin said it best: “Happiness consists more in small conveniences or pleasures that occur every day, than in great pieces of good fortune that happen but seldom.”’
It’s easy to lose sight of the small things, but once appreciated they can bring joy to our every day. I am guilty of rushing my morning caffeine fix while hustling the small human to school and trying to make it out of the house without my slippers on. But on the days when I have an extra five minutes, I relish sitting quietly at the table with my favorite tea, in my favorite cup – it’s kermit green with I❤NY and is over twenty years old, which of course means I’ve had it since childhood 😉 – listening to the small human chatting away over breakfast. It sets a completely different tone for the day. Or coming home in the evening to chilled out tunes, a home cooked meal and candlelight equals instant relaxation. According to Wiking ‘when Danes are asked what they most associate with hygge, an overwhelming 85 percent will mention candles.’
Hygge isn’t a purely solitary pursuit, although the introverts among us rejoiced (quietly) when the idea of ‘alone time’ became a ‘thing’. According to Wiking, ‘Almost 60 percent of Danes say the best number of people for hygge is three to four.’ Another close to perfect number for those of us overwhelmed and exhausted by large group interactions. If you can find a cosy cabin, log fire and preferably have a storm raging outside all the better! But the idea of community, social connection and finding your ‘tribe’ is also key to a happy, Hygge life.
So, looking for moments to pause and appreciate our surroundings, a delicious snack, a cosy jumper. Getting out into nature, going for a walk with a friend or three (two birds, one stone right there), or simply turning down the lights and creating a luxe, low-key atmosphere with candles (quick, that justifies a trip to IKEA, surely we need more nightlights?) By appreciating the little things we’ll feel recharged and ready to tackle the bigger things as they come along, and perhaps we can even give the Danes a run for their money on the happiness scale.
Here are a few ideas that are sure to help you get your Hygge on…Love, Jem
Fancy Footwork: Mahabis Slippers
Currently obsessed with this award winning Scandi design. These stylish slippers come with a removable outdoor sole, making that late night trip to get the washing in almost appealing…almost!
Mahabis Classic Slipper, $131; mahabis.com
Reading Nook: The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking
A delightful guide to the art of living well. Meik Wiking of The Happiness Research Institute breaks down all aspects of Hygge living into easy actionable steps. It’s not all organic fibres and soft lighting though. Wiking reminds us that while there is comfort in solitude, Hygge is also about valuing and building strong social connections.
The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well by Meik Wiking, $18.75; booktopia.com.au
Pretty Paisley: Sage and Claire Tufted Blanket
A modern take on a 70s classic this paisley blanket is sure to keep you snug as a bug.
Sage and Claire cotton blanket, $259; sageandclaire.com
Heaven Scent: Maison Balzac x Doctor Lisa Cooper Candle
Candles are crucial to the Hygge lifestyle. Create atmosphere and indulge the senses with the incredible scented candles by Maison Balzac
Maison Balzac soy wax candle, $65; maisonbalzac.com
Bathing Beauty: Kip & Co Velour Towels
One of my daily pleasures is walking into my bathroom and seeing my Kip & Co towels lined up on the rail. Luxuriously thick and in their signature rich tones they will brighten your day
Kip & Co 100% cotton bath towel, $55; kipandco.com
Sweet Sensations: Pana Chocolate
Gluten free, vegan, dairy free, soy free and packed with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals…these little slices of heaven taste just as good as they look!
Pana chocolate bars, $6.90 each; panachocolate.com
Time for Tea: Pols Potten ‘Undressed’ Tea Set
As the outrageously brilliant show GIRLS bids us farewell (*sob) we can’t help but dream of sitting down for a cuppa with Lena et al and putting the world to rights, and that this would be the perfect set, no?
Pols Potten porcelain set of four cups, saucers & teaspoons, $83; amara.com