(And share it with those you love)
Maybe you’ve heard of it. Or maybe you’re thinking, “hy-what?” Either way, there’s a good chance you’ve experienced hygge.
It’s pronounced HOO-ga. (Not quite what you were expecting, right?) Hygge is the Scandinavian philosophy of comfort and coziness. It’s not just a word; it’s a way of life, a sense of togetherness and connectedness – known all too well by the people of Denmark who are considered the happiest people in the world despite the region’s long, dark winters.
So, is it only a cold weather thing? Heck, no. “Hygge is about an atmosphere and an experience, rather than about things,” writes Meik Wiking, author of “The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living.” “It is about being with the people we love.” It can be the smell of spring, a mug of hot cocoa by the fireside, reading a great book, the feeling you get from connecting to something meaningful, and especially spending time with your favorite people.
As spring brings new blooms and warmth from the sun we can all appreciate – what better time to create and connect with your happy place and share some hygge with those you love? We’ll get you started with some ideas you can do with a friend, your child, your partner, or even just for yourself.
Hygge with your friend
- Share a pot of ‘thank you’ tea.
Pick an afternoon or early evening, simmer some relaxing tea, and show a friend your gratitude by giving them your undivided attention and sharing good conversation (sans cell phones).
- Hike and a fire.
The smell of the earth as spring begins and the scent of wood smoke curling in the air are two of our favorite smells of all time. Experience the best of both by heading off for a hike then unwinding fireside afterwards. #awesomeday
- From cyberspace to your space.
Get those pics off of your phone and up on your wall. (They can’t make you smile hiding in a cloud.) Choose your faves and frame them up so you’re reminded every day of those priceless moments and the friends that made them happen.
- Brunch via video.
Let’s face it, sometimes you just don’t want to get out of bed on the weekend to meet your wolfpack for brunch. So change it up – leave the pj’s on and have everyone brunch via video chat. This is especially cool if you’ve got friendly faces in faraway places – coffee talk with friends is the ultimate, especially when you can stay in your bunny slippers.
- Share a friendship plant.
Next time you’re together, head to the local garden center and pick out a plant for each other or buy the same one. Now you’ll have a super springtime reminder of your friend as you watch your plant thrive and flourish. (Just like friendship. ‘wink’)
Hygge with your child
- Decorate their room with this cheerful homemade yarn craft.
The design of hygge is all about clean shapes and earthy color palettes, but it’s the together time in creating this piece that counts the most. This yarn craft is the perfect thing to make to hang in your child’s room, so grab some yarn and craft a memory.
- Plant garden seeds and watch them grow.
Have the kids create the space where they play. Purchase some seeds of their choice and help plant them in the yard so they can watch their handiwork bloom through the spring.
- Press flowers.
Take a walk with your child to gather nature’s gems and jewels then press them in pages to frame, or string them up. It’s a great way to bring spring indoors to decorate your space, as well as create a priceless memory.
- Create a hyggekrog (or nook) in a sunny window spot.
Gather your child’s favorite cozy blankets and pillows for the perfect togetherness space where you can get lost in your favorite books.
- Bring the inside out.
Lay down a blanket in the yard and keep your eyes to the skies – what shapes do you see in the clouds? At night, point out constellations and keep a lookout for shooting stars. Since the air may still be a bit chilly at night, be sure to layer up before you look up.
Hygge with your partner
- Massage and a movie.
Get those sheets off the bed and onto the floor for you and your partner to have a good old fashioned slumber party in the comfort of your home. Get your lineup of movies going and take turns giving back massages for the ultimate in entertainment relaxation.
- Build something together.
What would be spring without a little cleaning and a small (or big) renovation project?
Roll up your sleeves and dig into that ‘room re-do’ or list of repairs that you both keep saying you’ll get around to. This stuff is always more fun with two.
- Print those pics – and frame them!
Nothing says home like your own memories right in front of your eyes. What an awesome reminder of all the special moments and people you have in your life.
- Toast to togetherness.
Uncork a bottle of wine and every time you ‘cheers,’ say out loud two things you’re grateful for. Not only are those grapes giving you a little health kick, but expressing gratitude boosts your heart and mental health as well. (Clink, clink!)
- Make a nursery date – to refresh your home.
Spend an afternoon together picking out fragrant flowers and eye-catching plants to give your home a fresh, spring feeling. Not only can plants totally bring out the personality of a space, but they also help clean the air in your home, so your lungs also get a good dusting with every breath. Ahh…
- Set up your writing space.
Create a space where you keep cards, notes, stamps, etc. and designate that area for your card and letter writing to connect with friends and family. When you have a specific place set aside to do this, you’ll see how easy and natural it is to make sure your best intentions make it to the mailbox…and straight to their hearts. If you need some inspiration on what to write inside a card, we have a whole lot of that for you here.
- Let the light in.
With spring arriving, the daylight is deliciously lingering longer and longer, so head to your favorite feel-good store and pick out some fresh new curtains that filter more light into your space, creating a cheery, warm atmosphere.
- Frame your favorite phrase (or this printable).
What phrase or quote inspires you every time you read it? Print it out in a cool font, frame it, and hang in your home for that daily dose of inspiration. Or go ahead and download this one we created to remind yourself to connect with others in a meaningful way.
- Meditate, rotate, repeat.
Rotate your relaxation or meditation practice from indoors to outdoors to maximize your connection to nature and refresh your body and spirit. Namaste.
- Splurge on what makes you smile.
Every now and then you just gotta have that thing that brings you joy. Allow yourself that special purchase. New couch? Pretty bedspread? That metal chicken holding a daisy that makes you think of your mom? Get it. Having something in your surroundings that makes you smile and feel good will make your space even more enjoyable to be in, and better yet – those good vibes will stick to you when you head out the door, too.
At the end of the day, hygge is all about gratitude, sharing, and the pursuit of happiness. Now that’s an idea we can all get behind.