Danish hygge is becoming a world-wide term. It has even been nominated word of the year by the Oxford dictionary! Especially in England people are so eager to learn about hygge that a college has started teaching about it and a large number of books on hygge are successful on the international market right now.
So what is this hygge? And is it what makes Danes the happiest people in the world?
I think it is part of Danish happiness – the relatively good welfare system helps a lot too of course. We prioritize to take a break where we slow down and appreciate some simple pleasures of life. I know it is really hard to do it in the busy lives most of us live today but I think it could be the key to more happiness/contentment to stop and enjoy life a little every day if possible.
My daughter was for the longest time asking me for more “mom-time”. I thought mom time just meant being alone with me. Not until recently did I realize that what she really wanted wasn’t so much being alone with me but to hygge together. For her it meant reading a book while eating cake or drawing together. Sometimes we cuddle up under a blanket or in bed and read. It feels a bit lazy but is a great way of bonding and relaxing with children. And I certainly feel that a little hygge every day makes for much happier children – and mothers.
To me hygge also has to do with lighted candles, a hot drink, some comfort food and a book or magazine. A comfy soft chair or couch, a cozy blanket and a pair of wool socks certainly do it for me too…
I would love to hear what hygge means to you… It can be a very individual thing – although lighted candles seem pretty important to most Danes (it is the European country with the highest use of candles). Please feel free to write in the comment section if you have some ideas and inspiration on how to hygge. It could be anything that makes you happy, relaxed and cozy 🙂
By the way, I am loving writing this blog post – feeling pretty hyggelig in my comfy chair with candles, hot tea and a book. Next time I will definitely need hot cocoa though to have, as they say in Denmark, “max hygge…”
Here are some of the new hygge books:
Meik Wiking “The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well”
Marie Tourell Soderberg “Hygge. The Danish Art of Happiness”
Jonny Jackson and Elias Larsen “The Art of Hygge: How to Bring Danish Cosiness Into Your Life”