Now that I’ve finished reading The Little Book of Hygge and have had some time to think on it, I’ve found that while it would be incredibly easy to just sink into a hygge fest and only emerge to make my way to work, but I don’t know that that would lead to the happiest Historian. For anyone who isn’t Danish and doesn’t live in a society where this is the norm, I think that throwing yourself fully into hygge as the Danes practice it could end up being isolating and draining at the end of it. I’ve come up with four specific ways to approach and do hygge myself, and make it fit me and my life! These are helpful for anyone looking to bring a little hygge into their life without loosing themselves to it…
1) Being a Conscientious Hygge– er
The Little Book is very fascinating in the way that it points out problems within different facets of hygge. For example, candles are a big part of bygge. However, burning regular paraffin candles actually releases a lot of harmful chemicals into the environment, and if you don’t air your house out afterwards, you could potentially breath in some very toxic elements. A candle here and there isn’t the end of the world but if you are burning them on the regular as per hygge directions, you could be doing some damage in the long run! So, I’m going with soy based candles! And although hygge is all about comfort foods that are delicious and filling, eating those on a daily basis may lead to you eventually feeling worse about yourself. (If you are anything like me, you love to eat whatever junk food floats your boat for three or four days, and then you just start craving simple fruits and veggies to counteract the damage to your arteries…) So, I’m going to try to hygge in moderation and make sure that if I were to keep doing whatever it is on a daily basis, that I or my environment would not suffer!
2) The Right Clothes
I have a tendency to wear a handful of pieces, and while I do love those pieces, it means that I’m often in sweatpants at home more than I would like. Our winters can see -45ºC for days on end, and you will find yourself inside because more than 5 minutes outside can lead to exposure, frostbite, and more trouble than anything is worth. So, I’ve set myself a small budget to buy warm, comfortable, and good quality lounge-wear to wear at home. I’m not saying I’m going to have 5000% cashmere or anything crazy like that, but I’m hoping that some better quality clothing will keep me in the right frame of mind! While those sweats and tshirts are comfortable, they don’t exactly inspire me to take care of myself and get anything done. Also, after going through my wardrobe, I realised that I’ve amassed quite the sweater collection, and I’m pretty proud of it! Cabled, Cowichan, and chic, I’ve got pretty much any look involving a sweater available to me now.
Via The Bay
3) Give Myself a Reason to Hygge
I want to make sure that if I’m going to cuddle up and relax that I have a reason to relax. I want to have pushed myself harder than normal in ballet class, pulled an extra volunteer shift, worked late, or have a major accomplishment. While I truly believe that you should enjoy life just to enjoy it, I would not want to lose my drive and I could very easily lose myself to book after book and countless cups of tea! As I said above, I love comfortable clothes. I also love looking put together and polished most of the time- because I do often go the extra mile to have a complete look during the week, it feels that much better when I slip into comfier clothes on the weekend. Relaxing feels that much better when you have done something to earn it, and it doesn’t have to be any different when you hygge. (Yes, I’m just using hygge as noun, verb, and adjective. We’re getting craaaaaaaazy here.)
4) Hygge on the Go!
I find that more often than not, people find excuses to stay in at home. Yes, some people do suffer from anxiety and other issues and complications that make leaving the home feel like an insurmountable mountain. However, for the majority of us, it’s just that it’s easier for us to stay in and comfy on the couch than push ourselves to go out. So, I’m going to push myself to be hygge outside of the home! I’m going to make sure that my space at work is professional but cozy and comfortable, especially with my office being frozen. I’m going to find ways to spend time out with friends and stay warm and happy in the frozen winter we have! Wiking recommends that you have a hygge box at home for when you want to dive in- I plan on having a hygge bag to keep in my car for when I’m out. Fuzzy socks, a small throw blanket, candles, and a DVD or two, all perfect for an evening at a friend’s house or even if I have to stay in the city because of bad weather!
So, with the winter coming for the Northern Hemisphere, what are you doing to keep yourself warm, cozy, and happy? And what is your ultimate idea of hygge?
PS. Has anyone read The Little Book of Lykke or have plans to? It looks interesting to me but I can’t decide if I want to take the plunge or not! Any thoughts on it would be very welcome!