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How to be Happy as a Dane

What is so special about that Danish happiness that the news media has been talking about over the last few weeks? Here are my suggestions to what makes Danes so happy – besides a welfare system that leaves everyone pretty safe and secure. This guideline should be taken with a grain of salt and I hope you will view it just as some ideas on what that Danish happiness is all about. I am not saying Danes are better than other people and we can definitely learn a lot from the world around us. But who knows – maybe you can use a few of these suggestions to add a little of that unique Danish happiness to your life. As a Dane in America I use it as a checklist whenever I need to get back to my cultural roots.

Guideline to Danish Happiness

“Hygge” – this is the unique Danish term that combines coziness with togetherness. Danes often do this by enjoying relaxing and fun times with family and friends. So bring out the coffee and cake;) Beer and wine help bring on the fun too!

Outdoor time – enjoy the outdoors every day. Preferably at least half an hour combined with exercise and nature

Get your kids outside every day for an hour at least of free play. Remember that rain is fun if you are dressed for it (or at least it is fun for the kids. This one is pretty hard to live up to but I try…)

Lots of free play for your kids! This encourages imagination and creativity

Home-cooked meals with close family and friends

Eat Danish food such as frikadeller (Danish meatballs), wiener broed (danishes), pandekager (Danish pancakes), rugbroed (rye bread) and sild (herring) with beer and schnaps! 😉 Recipes to come on this blog!!

Decorate your home simply and beautifully with a few design items you love and lots of white! White walls etc. Less is more… But whatever your style is the most important thing is to make it into a beautiful and “hyggeligt” space where you love to spend time

Don’t over-schedule your life – enjoy your home

Be content with what you have -this is probably the most important part of Danish happiness 😃

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