If you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed I was reading a book with a really different word in the title. I recently finished The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living by Meik Wiking. Last month, while I was pre-ordering a cookbook, this book was recommended. After seeing it in a few other people’s reading lists on Goodreads, I ordered it for my Kindle.
I’d briefly heard about hygge (pronounced hoo-ga) on Ladies of London, of all places! Caroline Fleming is one of the ladies on the show. She’s actually from a royal family in Denmark, and she incorporated a little bit of her Scandinavian culture in this previous season. During the summer, she threw a midsommer’s celebration for all the ladies on the show. It was so pretty and idyllic, I had to read more about the Danish way of living.
Hygge (again, pronounced hoo-ga) could be translated as hominess or coziness. It’s basically the feeling you get when it’s cold and snowy outside and you’re inside warm under a blanket with a mug of hot cocoa. And the Danish people recreate that feeling in all aspects of their lives. The author, Meik Wiking, is the CEO of The Happy Institute in Copenhagen. For years, Denmark has been the happiest country in the world, and he’s sure that hygge is the reason.
Turns out, I’ve been practicing hygge in my everyday life. I just didn’t have a name for it! Some of the aspects of hygge are lighting, warm drinks, comfortable fabrics, good food, quality time with family, and living slow. It actually helped me pinpoint why I’ve been feeling ‘off’ lately. Having a comfortable space to slow down and relax has always been very important to me. Right now, half of our stuff is in boxes. It’s really starting to take a tole on my ‘hygge.’ I hope that doesn’t sound like a complaint, because I love where we are living right now. It’s a gorgeous house that has a lot of space; however, I can see the light at the end of the new-house-tunnel and I can’t wait to have everything in its place again!
This book even covers how to be hygge outside of the home. I find it very easy to get that hygge feeling when I’m at home, but at work? It’s a little harder. Wiking gives suggestions for hygge in all aspects of life — outside the home, on the cheap, Christmas, and even summer. Winter is the coziest season to me, so his suggestions for summer were really great. Summer hygge would include spending time with friends and family, having a garden, going for a bike ride, and going for bike rides.
Reading about hygge even felt cozy. It gave me a few ideas for our new house, especially with lighting. I also have some ideas to create cozy corners for reading or knitting. It will be a lot of fun to make our home as cozy as possible
I really recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn about another culture’s idea of happiness or to anyone who wants ideas for slowing down to enjoy the simple things in life.