When the temperature drops, many of us start putting on heavy sweaters, lighting scented candles on dark evenings, and making hot drinks to sip by the fireplace. These types of cozy activities are part of what the Danish people call Hygge (pronounced HOO-gah), as described in The Little Book of Hygge.
One definition which I think captures the heart of hygge is the art of creating intimacy. Imagine a pool of light in a dark room and use all five senses to create that type of atmosphere. Some examples are the scent of a candle, the feel of a soft wool blanket, the sound of calming music, the sight of a flickering flame, and the taste of a hot cup of cocoa, all of which contribute to the warmth and coziness that can dispel winter’s dark.
These four things can help you to achieve this cozy warmth in your home:
- Light: candles, a fireplace or woodstove, or even sun streaming in a window
- Cocoon: pillows, sweaters, wool socks, and fuzzy blankets all contribute to creating a warm nest to snuggle down into (Make your own socks: Knit Socks!)
- Community: whether you hang out with your family or have some friends over, gather a few people together for conversation and hot drinks
- Food: soups, stews, hearty pies and casseroles, hot bread, tea, cider, and hot cocoa, mulled wine (Find recipes in A Cozy Book of Winter Drinks)
None of these necessarily requires going to the store. Mindfulness, gathering a few supplies, and extending an invitation or two are all that are required for you to experience The Joy of Hygge this winter.