Hygge. What is it? How do you say it? And just why should you aspire to it on your next vacation? Hygge (pronounced “hoo-gah”, not “higgie”) is a word that sounds simple but encases an entire concept. Hygge is a Dutch word that roughly translates to “coziness” but is better defined as “a quality of coziness and comfortability that engenders a feeling of contentment.”
Hygge is centered around wintertime, a time of year when we could all use a little more coziness and comfortability in our lives. We take a rather Scandinavian approach to our winters, so it should come as no surprise that embracing hygge is right up our alley. When the temperatures plummet and ice frosts our window panes, it’s time for hygge.
Hygge isn’t just tucking under a blanket or pulling on fuzzy socks - although that is part of it. Hygge is a concept, a feeling of contentment and well-being. A key part of hygge is intentionality – setting aside time to enjoy without distractions, tasks, and impending deadlines.
If you've ever enjoyed reading a book indoors on a rainy Sunday or sipping a cup of hot cocoa on a snowy day, you've experienced hygge without even knowing it.
When you practice hygge, you’re actively taking time away from the hustle and bustle of your day-to-day life to enjoy a quiet moment (or a few hours) for yourself. Hygge is watching a sunset with a friend, enjoying a decadent slice of cake, or breathing in the crisp winter air while wrapped in cozy layers. You can hygge alone, but it’s better with friends or loved ones. So what better time to give hygge a try than during your vacation?
What isn't hygge? Staring at your phone all day. Sorry, this is the least hygge thing out there. Try inviting some friends instead, togetherness is a key part of being hygge.
Hibernating indoors alone all winter isn't hygge either. While staying inside enjoying hot chocolate and a book is certainly hygge, getting outside to go for a long walk (yes, even in the winter) is a crucial part of the idea.
Don't abide by strict rules. Hygge is all about keeping things simple (think Scandi-style interior design). It encourages people to live a little, so say yes to that extra slice of cake. And after a couple of divisive and stress-filled years, it's no mystery why we’re all in for hygge.
Simple ways to incorporate hygge into your life:
Put down your phone an hour before bed and snuggle under a toasty blanket with a good book
Watch the sunset with a mug of hot spiced apple cider
Brew a pot of tea while you treat yourself to a face mask and a feel-good movie
Invite your friends over for a winter potluck with plenty of mulled wine and baked goods
Take a long walk with your partner, no phones allowed
Book a spa day or a massage and treat yourself to coffee before
“Hygge is about an atmosphere and an experience, rather than about things. It is about being with the people we love. A feeling of home. A feeling that we are safe, that we are shielded from the world and allow ourselves to let our guard down.”
— MEIK WIKING, THE LITTLE BOOK OF HYGGE