For Christmas I got “The Little Book of Hygge”, it was something I had seen a while back and just really liked the look of reading and it has not disappointed! It written by Meik Wiking who is from The Happiness Institute in Copenhagen, that itself sounds interesting to me!
Hygge is a Danish concept which believe it or not they take the whole book to fully explain but could be anything from sipping hot chocolate with a warm jumper on in front of a fire to having a picnic at the beach with your family on a summers day. With the Danes regularly coming out top in the poll of the happiest countries in the world I was interested to see what they do differently and it turns out this concept is something I really want to try!
This is the Hygge manifesto to give you an idea:
- Atmosphere – Turn down the lights, light candles and have low lighting.
- Presence – Be here now. Turn off the phones.
- Pleasure – Coffee, chocolate, cookies, cakes, candy!
- Equality- “We” over “me, share the tasks and the air time.
- Gratitude – Take it in, this might be as good as it gets.
- Harmony – Its not a competition, we already like you, there is no need to brag about your achievements.
- Comfort – Get comfy, take a break, its all about relaxation.
- Truce – No drama, lets discuss politics another day.
- Togetherness – build relationships and narratives.
- Shelter – This is your tribe, this is a place of peace and security.
The book not only gives you examples of Hygge activities throughout the seasons but also recipes to try along with how you can make your home more Hygge and even what you need to make a Hygge emergency kit which is one of my favourite ideas so I thought I would share with you:
Hygge Emergency Kit – this is to be stored up for those evenings when you are low on energy, have no plans, don’t feel like going out and are in the mood for some quality time alone.
- Some good quality chocolate
- Your favourite tea
- Your favourite book
- Your favourite film
- A good pair of woollen socks
- A selection of your favourite letters
- A warm jumper
- A notebook- to write in all the Hyggelige moments you have experienced in the last year, this will help you remember them and create more.
- A nice blanket
- Paper and a pen
- A photo album
I’m also looking forward to creating a little space to call my Hyggekrog- this is a nook in a kitchen or living room where you can snuggle under a blanket with a book and a cup of tea. As long as there are cushions and you can watch the world go by from there it can be your go to place when you want to be snug and cosy for a short time. I don’t have a bay window to make it in as many Danes do but I have a few corners of rooms that are currently empty and could do with a cosy seat and some low lighting and who doesn’t like buying a new blanket and cushions! For furniture to be considered Hygge it has to be rustic, and have charm, glass, plastic and metal are not considered Hygge. If the piece of furniture has some memories attached that is even better and it does not need to cost a lot, any element of nature or something that is slightly vintage is great for Hygge, it’s all about how things feel, a bookcase filled with books or a nice teapot or vase on the table along with candles and anything made out of wood are all perfect for your Hygge home.
So I started off today with a Hygge lunch, I was really cold after coming back from meeting a friend for coffee so decided on soup but I thought why not light candles even though it is only me at home. Not only did they make me feel warmer while I waited for the house to heat but it gave my lunch table a much cosier feel, that along with listening to a CD I got for Christmas I ended up not feeling like I was alone at all.
Overall I feel I’ve got some really great ideas from this first one about what is important and what it actually takes to make you feel happy, believe it or not when asked what makes them the happiest the Danes placed Facebook at the bottom of a list of 15 items with the top three coming out as;
- Hot drinks
Life is so much about our phones, social media, and TV, not to mention money playing a huge part in how happy people think they are. This book just explains how a whole country of people are living life feeling really satisfied with their lives by prioritising the right things and I like that.