September 27, 2016

Ten ways to HYGGE

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The concept of Hygge (pronounced hoo-gah) is taking the world by storm.

 This Norwegian word, used by the Danish to describe a moment of comfort, warmth or happiness has been around for centuries as a way for the Danes to get through the long cold winters and is perhaps the secret to being the happiest people on earth.

To embrace Hygge first of you need to remembered the following few things...

1. Hygge is about togetherness - be it inviting friends round for a late brunch or as simple as putting up your favourite pictures of friends and family on the wall.

2. Everyday can have an element of Hygge - its about the simple things in life

3. Hygge is for everyone. You don't need to overhaul your interior or wardrobe to be more Hygge. with just a few little additions you can make your life more Hygge.

Here are my top 10 ways to be a little more Hygge.

1. Light candles - there is nothing more serene than cosying down on a warm night surrounded by candles flickering. It adds a little romance and peace to a space and can really make any room, however small feel like a secluded piece of heaven.

2. Enjoy getting dressed on a cold morning. Put those ballet flats away, pull on the softest socks you can find, tug those winter boots on for dry warm feet - you body will thank you as will your friends when you don't come down with a cold  at the first signs of winter. 

3. Get some hot chocolate - a good quality hot chocolate is a good thing to have stashed away in the cupboard as the nights draw in. Make your hot chocolate with hot milk rather than water will make it creamier and more delicious.

4. Invest in a good, warm coat. This past week we have been able to enjoy the sunshine and we haven't quite succumbed to tights yet but if you can face it this is the best time of year to get a good winter coat. They have just hit the shelves so you have the pick of the bunch.

5. Visit a second hand bookshop and pick up classics cheap as chips to read on a cold night, (surrounded by candles or course) second hand bookshops are treasure troves and a good way to appreciate time away from screens and delve into another world.

6. Eat pastries. Have a croissant even if you haven't been to Gym the night before, or plan to... Danes love a good pastry and eat them a lot. Sometimes you need a treat to keep you going and hygge is all about allowing yourself that treat after a tough day, or when you just feel like you need it.

7. Get outside more. When the temperature drops its tempting to stay inside and get the latest series of Narcos up and binge. Instead, wrap up in your cosy coat, soft socks, hat, scarf and gloves and venture outdoors to a park, grab a takeaway coffee on the way (maybe a pastry) and encourage a loved one or friend to join you to stretch those legs and enjoy the outdoors.

8. Embrace the change of seasons and all the great food that comes with it. Hunt for a perfect pumpkin, have a Halloween get-together, find a local bonfire night and watch the fireworks before coming home to some of that delicious hot chocolate, light all the candles, turn on your fairy lights  and settle down with friends to watch that latest episode you have been hankering to watch all week.

9. Cook more. (or take up a new hobby if cooking isn't your thing - learn a language, practise yoga, brush the dust off your camera) The Danes love to bake, be it a fresh batch of cinnamon buns, a warming stew or a slice of home-cured salmon. Try something new and seasonal, be it a pumpkin pie or a hot buttery sage pasta dish,  get cooking a hearty dish, enjoy it without any guilt and take comfort it is a whole seven months till beach season.

10. Enjoy the simple things. And really appreciate them. Hygge is about indulgence, not extravagance. Enjoying the space that you are in and making it feel special.  Your living room doesn't need to be styled to perfection, neither do you need to throw a huge dinner party and invite all your friends round. Make your own space feel like an escape, have a area, a chair or even a little time before bed when you read, meditate, enjoy that cup of sleepy hot chocolate, pull on cosy socks and light that candle even if just for a few minutes just to bring the day to close and feel thankful for it.

Let me know how you get on adding a little Hygge to your life!

The best new books of Hygge ;

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