Hygge has quickly become one of my favourite things. Nothing like a good dose of cozy living to beat away those seasonal blahs! Instead of mourning the death of summer, I find myself rejoicing over those grey skies. Winter is inescapable, yet I find myself wishing for snow and all that it entails. Hygge, it turns out, is much more than a quaint Danish approach to life: it’s a secret weapon for joyful living!
Today then, let’s explore hygge a bit more. Consider this my personal list. My top hits, five of them at least, of hygge delights.
Not the flavourless, glorified dishwater which is- sadly- far too common. No, no. I’m talking about real tea. The kind that you steep before savouring every last drop. While enamoured of the idea of a tea party, the appeal of the actual drink was lost on me for many years. The game changer? Loose tea. It tastes as lovely as it smells.
Drinking it from a china cup makes it even more hygge. A thrift store find, these dainty little treasures are well worth the effort!
2. Warm Woollens
Being cold is a miserable thing. Ask any kid on the playground who forgot his mittens. Warmth equals happiness.
Forget synthetic fibres too, wool is where it’s at! Despite claims from the uninitiated that it itches, wool has a glorious variety to choose from. Soft, cuddly and great insulation… Who wouldn’t want to wear that? It’s called sweater weather for a reason my friends! On a cold morning nothing feels more luxurious than a collection of woollen socks, sweaters, plus knit toques and mittens for braving the outdoors. Thumb your nose at the weather, and venture forth, unafraid of any chill.
Knitting up your own warm duds simply amps up the hygge factor.
Smells (as I like to remind my almost teenage son) matter. That’s why something like deodorant is so important. While malodorous odours are repellant, nice smells draw us in. They are soothing, make us smile. Beautiful scents make me want to linger, basking in it for as long as possible. Lavender is my top scent pick.
Stressed or frazzled? Lavender is hygge for your nose. If you can’t get the fresh, or even dried stuff, a bar of lavender soap tucked among your linens or clothes will do the trick.
Personally, I fold lavender sachets among any clothes that I wear closet to my skin. Catching a whiff of its herbal smell while bracing to face the day is pure bliss.
4. Fountain Pens
Beautiful tools can transform the mundane into something sublime. Fountain pens are such a tool. They inspire me to find an excuse- any excuse- to write. Be it grocery list, letter, or even daring to write that novel, it transforms the daunting drudgery of any task into a delight.
What’s the appeal with fountain pens? They add a elegance to any writing you throw at them. My own love of them was sparked when at school my favourite teacher-insisting I take pride in even the appearance of my work- had me use them for all assignments requiring ink. I’ve been an avid fan of fountain pens ever since.
Despite the exorbitant price of some, fountain pens need not deplete your bank account. Happily, a good pen can be found within the price range that even my ten-year old self could afford.
5. Rereading an Old Favourite
When life itself seems grey, my surest hygge cure is to reread a favourite book. Not that flashy bestseller, nor even the novel I really should return to the library soon. Nope, when life gets too tough, that’s when I need the comfort of visiting some dear, old literary friends. Losing myself between the pages, at least temporarily, is sweeter than a good bar of chocolate. Better for my waistline too.
Childhood books, the ones you loved with all your young heart, are best. So go, explore the Hundred Acre Wood again. Have tea with Mr. Tumnus or rediscover magic in a garret with Sara Crew. After all, if they managed to defeat their dragons, why can’t I?
All told, there’s nothing terribly fancy about any of these top hygge hits of mine. None of them are expensive, which is exactly as it should be. Hygge is about the simple things that increase happiness. The simpler they are, the more effective they seem to be.
My five are really only the tip of the iceberg… or would the marshmallows in the cocoa be a better comparison? Either way, what would top your hygge list?
Until next time, may happiness, cozy comforts and joy be yours. Hygge away my friends!