It’s my favourite time of year, so I will be writing a lot of autumn-themed posts! It’s the perfect time to write about a concept I have been hearing a lot about lately – hygge. The Danish word has no English translation, but the best way I can think of to describe it is cosiness, familiarity and simplicity. Visit Denmark sums it up perfectly: Danish winters are long and dark, so the danes fight it with their best weapon: hygge, and the millions of candles that go with it.
Hmm, sounds a lot like British winters…
Stella magazine suggests spending £35 on a pair of socks in order to experience hygge. It’s definitely not necessary to invest a lot of money to get cosy. I think the most important thing is to do what makes you feel good – it could be sharing a good meal with friends or family, or watching a movie or reading a book by yourself. Whilst I disagree with the socks suggestion, the same article sums the idea up as, “the absence of anything annoying or emotionally overwhelming.” The sad reality is that most people can’t live their entire lives like this, in fact I sometimes feel like the majority of life is designed to be annoying and emotionally overwhelming, so it’s all the more important to appreciate moments of hygge.
I’m going to get personal for a moment: I recently moved back in with my family after graduating from Uni in a different city and living alone for the past year. I really notice a difference in my way of living and it makes it very easy to talk about hygge. Being around family, in my childhood home and my home town is nurturing in many ways – most noticeably, being fed three good meals every day! But really, being around the people who have supported and looked after me ever since I was born feels like a huge relief. We all need to feel like that sometimes.
So, really, hygge isn’t about expensive socks. It’s just about lighting some candles and having a bubble bath. Or eating a hearty, home-cooked meal. Or chatting with a friend over coffee. It’s all about embracing simplicity and appreciating the little things. Maybe some cosy socks would help, but your regular, worn out old slippers will work just as well.