Seize Your Hygge During the Darkest Time of the Year
There's a buzzword that's been popping up on all my social media feeds for quite awhile now. It's Hygge (pronounced "hue-guh", and rhymes with "suga' "). Have you heard of it?
At one point the internet was so saturated with interpretations of this Danish term that it became almost impossible for me to figure out exactly what it meant. So I followed my usual course of action when trends explode. I took a back seat and quietly studied it while waiting for all the noisy confusion to settle down.
While hygge can be seized upon just about anywhere, with anyone, during any season, it is especially admired by those living in cooler climates with shorter daylight hours in winter. It is within this context that we'll discuss it. Here's what it is and how to capture it for yourself.
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What Exactly is Hygge?
In its simplest terms, the word hygge translates to a feeling of warmth, coziness, charm and contentment. But it can also mean closeness, security, and kinship. I like to describe it as mindful appreciation of a moment. It's when you force yourself to slow down enough to sink solidly into what's happening around you.
The photo below is the perfect example. If you've been with me a while, you might recognize it from my Instagram feed.
It was taken last year in December, on a cold dreary day inside a warm French café— Maison Parisienne. Together my husband and I enjoyed a delectable croissant lathered with almond butter, and a rich cup of very traditional hot chocolate. I can still hear us taking turns murmuring "Mmmm" with each sip and bite, as we chatted with Frenchman, Aaron, one of the café's owners.
During that visit we also had a lively conversation with a family, half of whom were from Romania, the other half from California. Even now the details are so vivid in my mind. Why? I was fully immersed. Not wanting to soon forget it, I quickly snapped that photo. It was so... hygge. The beauty of hygge is that if you capture the feeling thoroughly, you may remember that special moment vividly months, or even years later.
What Makes Hygge So Important?
Above is another hygge moment. This one was enjoyed alone. The key elements? The tunes of Phyliss Hyman and Melody Gardot, hot chai tea, a lavender scented candle, a Restoration Hardware lookbook, and a fur throw. So good...so, so good.
Why are hygge moments so important you ask? There are a few reasons.
- During long winter months daylight is awful and company is scarce. You need something to to stave off the dullness.
- The time period between November and January can be quite depressing. This is especially true for those who have lost loved ones. The pain of their loss becomes even more piercing with the arrival of certain holidays. Creating new "moments" becomes more important.
- Hygge helps you to break away from the frenzy and s-l-o-w down.
So the next time you find that the world around you seems to be spinning around frantically; or when seasonal sadness threatens to swallow you up, look for ways to mindfully tap into the beautiful people, places and moments that make life pleasurable. Get hygge with it!
Please tell me, what do you think of the Danes' concept of hygge?
One more favor may I ask of you?
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