Chances are you have probably heard of the term ‘hygge’ as it’s become increasingly popular as a phrase and lifestyle. Hygge is a Danish word and concept used to describe things or feelings of coziness, happiness, and well-being. It’s both an adjective and a noun and is used very liberally by Danes. Being mindful of hygge moments and pursuing them is quintessentially Danish. Everyone can incorporate this aspect of Danish culture into their life and will be sure to benefit from it.
If you’ve never heard of hygge before don’t fret. You have certainly experienced it, but you just didn’t have the right word for it yet. If you’ve ever enjoyed sitting in a cafe with a friend on a rainy day, or reading a book by the fire, then congratulations, you might just be a hygge expert already. Hygge enriches everyday life and, if you don’t live close to the equator, hygge will help you get through the long winter months (maybe even enjoy them 😉).
How Do You Define Hygge?
Hygge can be described in many ways, but one of the best open-ended definitions of hygge is ‘being consciously cozy,’ as stated by Meik Wiking. Meik is an expert on hygge and the author of, The Little Book of Hygge; he just might be one of the reasons that you’ve heard of Hygge before as his book brought it into an international spotlight.
The dictionary definition states that “Hygge is a quality of coziness that makes a person feel content and comfortable. It's also often used as an adjective meaning cozy or comfortable." Though it’s been officially added to English dictionaries, it can be tricky to pronounce - our best advice is to pronounce it like this: “hoo-gah”. It’s tricky to say, but luckily it’s easy to practise in your everyday life; it’s much more important that you understand the meaning!
Where Does Hygge Come From?
The word hygge first appeared in writing in the 18th century - and actually has Norwegian origins 🤫! Its original meaning was to describe a safe haven, a place where one is protected from the outside world and the elements. While the definition has evolved and broadened over time, the concept of hygge as we know it today still revolves around feeling safe and secure.
Why is Hygge So Important?
There are many benefits of focusing on and incorporating more hygge in your life. As a Danish co-living company, hygge is at the forefront of our concept and ingrained in everything from how we style our apartments, to what drives our community. Hygge is important because it helps people have a stronger connection with others and themselves. Additionally, when you prioritize hygge, you’re prioritizing enjoyment and making time for yourself.
As mentioned, hygge is a very open concept that can be applied to all kinds of activities and things but at its core, it revolves around feeling cozy and secure. Thus a large part of hygge is who you are with; with close friends and family being the most hygge company. As our community (and company) has plenty of international people, we know that one of the hardest parts of relocating to a new city is growing your inner circle to hygge with! Even more difficult than the paperwork depending on where you’re living 😉. That is why a primary focus of our co-living concept is the community and ensuring members spark those connections from day one. Of course, there are many solo hygge activities too - so you can hygge whenever you want!
Another key element of hygge is the atmosphere around you. Spaces that are warm, tidy, and cozy are only ever a few candles away from being super hygge. You can always change a few things to make your space more hygge at home, or you can find a hygge cafe or restaurant to spend time in. When our Design team sets up apartments, they make sure that the spaces are ready for hygge moments. When you’re in a hygge space you will notice an instant mood boost and shift into a more relaxed state of mind. Since we have been spending more time at home in 2020 - having a hygge atmosphere at home is even more important!
Hygge Whenever You Can, As Much As You Can
The best things in life are free, and feeling hygge and doing hygge things are included in this! While hygge season certainly peaks in the winter - you can hygge all year long. A little emphasis on hygge in your daily lifestyle will go a long way. The essentials come down to spending time with great people in your life and making time for yourself. So you don’t need to buy anything or make any major life changes to live a hygge lifestyle, just be mindful of life’s enjoyable moments whenever you can.
If you want to learn more about Hygge, we’re working on putting together a complete hygge guide. The guide will cover everything from how to create a hygge space to hygge activities to do alone or with your loved ones! We want to make sure that everyone is feeling hygge - especially during this challenging time.