How to Invite Hygge into Your Life

Hygge, The Danish practice of cozy contentment

Hygge: it's not a new idea (particularly if you live in Scandinavia) but for me, it's a fresh way of looking at life, something I've embraced wholeheartedly- and it's just too good not to share. Pronounced, (hue-gah) this is a Danish concept, and it doesn't have a literal English translation, but the basic idea of it is that it's a state a mind that includes three main concepts,

  1. Creating warmth, connection, and well-being
  2. Contentment that comes from appreciating shelter from the elements, food around the table for a shared meal, or being alone with a good book
  3. Simplicity, pleasure, and presence in the ordinary rituals of life

Living in Seattle means that I live with long, dark, rainy winters.  During this time of year, I'll often forget where my sunglasses are (after weeks at a time of not needing them) and sometimes there's only an hour, around mid-day, where I can turn off the lights and let natural sunlight illuminate my home.  These circumstances can bring me down if I'm not careful in my thinking.  This year has been different. Hygge has helped me to see Seattle's wintry days in another light.

When you think about it, hygee is a concept that is called for in the Christian life. Choosing to find joy and contentment, in all circumstances, is what Paul told Timothy (and us) to do (1 Timothy 6:6-7) and King Solomon describes the simple pleasures as a gift from God in Ecclesiastes 3:13 when he says,

"That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God."

Ecclesiastes 3:13

While hygge is a state of mind, and it's not about acquiring things, @@you can invite hygge into your life@@ by embracing the following 11 suggestions:

  1. soft lighting- candlelight, turning off overhead lighting in favor of lamps, twinkly strings of Christmas lights, etc
  2. warm drinks
  3. cozy furnishings
  4. wear comfy warm clothing
  5. switching off electronics and enjoying friends and family
  6. bake something delicious and share it with a friend
  7. clear out the clutter in an area of your home and make it more inviting
  8. host a dinner party with friends
  9. leave good books and warm blankets to snuggle up in all around the house
  10. Bring some plants or fresh flowers inside
  11. Diffuse a pretty scented oil
hygee

It may be dark and cold outside but a warm fire and candlelight will make you feel cozy.

hygee

A clean and uncluttered bedroom will help you relax.  The white quilt in the picture above is a recent gift from the anniversary collection at Personal Creations.  I loved the simplicity and warmth of it, along with the personalized touch ( the D+D is for my husband and I...we just celebrated 20 years). 

hygee

Our twinkly lights in the courtyard stay up year-round.  

hygee

Fluffy pillows, hot tea, books, and lemon oil in the diffuser...these are a few of my favorite things.

I'm sure you can think of many other suggestions and I'd love to hear them in the comments.

The idea of hygge helps us see the everyday moments in life as meaningful and to approach them with gratitude.  It's not just a feeling for when we're happy but a mindset that helps us see the light even when it's dark. 

Philippians 4:12-13 are hygge verses,

"I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well-fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do all this through him who gives me strength."

I believe many of you are already practicing hygge, whether you knew the word for it, or not.  But we can all use an extra little reminder, at times, to embrace the season we're in, finding joy and contentment wherever we are. Bringing more hygge into my life is something I aim to do in this next year. 

If you want to read more about the practice of hygee, there's a great book you may enjoy called, The Little Book of Hygge.

Note…Amazon affiliate links are used in this post.  If you click on a link and buy a book, I receive a small portion of the proceeds at no additional cost to you.  Thank you!