First of all no, I am not suddenly changing languages on my blog. Hygge is a Danish word (pronounced “hue-geh” – you might hear it pronounced “hoo-gah”, but according to Danish speakers, that is not the correct way), and it roughly translates as a cozy, comforting moment, spent alone or with friends, at home or out.
It is a feeling, a way of decorating your home and a way to spend your time, all at once.
If you search Hygge on google (or on Pinterest, like I did), you will find a bunch of results, all gravitating towards or around kind of the same aspects. There are more ways for achieving the “hygge vibe”, and they involve treats, time spent with pets, having (or mimicking, let’s be honest) a fireplace, crafting, reading, journaling and, probably the most important, candles and a hot beverage.
So, like the trend follower that I am, I tried to incorporate the Hygge vibe into my life, for 5 days in a row, to see how it goes.
Everyone hates Mondays, we know. But I wanted to stop hating on this day, so I started my morning the Hygge way: I pulled my fluffy blanket over my head, and tried waking up slowly and carefully, instead of jumping out of bed (literally, I jump out of bed each morning).
By doing this, some might call me lazy, but I can shut them up and tell them that I’m living Hygge. What I did notice, on the other hand, is that my morning seemed more peaceful and went on more smoothly, instead of being in a constant rush and panic.
It was a good Monday.
This Tuesday I had to take an exam, so I woke up a bit later than usual, since I had the day off from work. But, instead of preparing a quick, on-the-go breakfast, I took the time to cook myself a warm breakfast, adding spices, flavors and all those little things that made me happy.
Also, when I came back from my exam, I wrapped myself in a fluffy blanket, lit a candle and started reading one of my favorite books at the moment. Granted, after about 15 minutes of reading, I switched over to a movie, but hey: I was still relaxing.
Good progress, so far.
Wednesday was a tough day, I’ll admit. My anxiety was acting up, I had a crazy day at work and, above all, I couldn’t make myself go to the gym, even though I’ve kept myself on a strict program. I just couldn’t deal with anything, and I felt like I was about to cry, half the time.
So, in order to improve my mood, when I got home I poured myself a bath, I took out the bath salts, I lit almost every candle I could find in the house, and placed a clip of a burning fireplace on my big TV screen. It’s true that anxiety doesn’t just go away just because you wish it to, I can honestly say it helped. The alternative was me, staying in the corner of my room, wallowing in self-pity, and that’s not very Hygge.
Let’s just say that a good nights’ sleep can work wonders on a human being. After the day I’ve had yesterday, I fell asleep relatively quick, and slept like a log through the night. I woke up feeling refreshed and overall optimistic, which I didn’t think was possible after a tough day like Wednesday.
To make sure the good mood and the comfy feeling will follow me throughout the day, I made myself a cup of hot coffee (mainly because I cannot see straight until I’ve had my coffee), and started writing in my journal what I’m grateful for, at the moment. Also, I put some calming music on, and cuddled with my boyfriend until it was really time to get going to work.
Let me tell you… cuddles are the best <3
I have reached the end of my little experiment, and all I can say is that I want it to be more than just an experiment. I want to keep practicing and embracing the Hygge vibe, because it shifted something in me. Not in a “life-changing/you’ll never see the world as you did before” kind of way, but I started appreciating more the slow pace of life. Not rushing in the morning, reading a book instead of scrolling aimlessly on the phone, and letting myself unwind has made a difference in my mood, and my coworkers seemed to notice, too.
So, to continue this “experiment”, I decided to walk home, instead of driving or calling an Uber. The fresh, crisp air of the winter was incredible and, since my job is in a reasonable walking distance from my home, I took the benefits of a walk, without freezing my ass off.
This was a good week.
If you’d like a summary of what Hygge implies, it’s basically less TV, shopping, clutter, consuming, junk, worries and stress, and more reading, going outdoors, cleanliness, creating, real food, walking, smiles and breathing.