What is hygge? It’s slow living – Scandinavian style

What is hygge - It's slow living - Scandinavian style

I’ve been thinking about slow living for a while now. I think I’m constantly a bit stressed out at work with so much to do – which I’ve noticed leads to nonefficiency. And in my free time I’m always thinking about all the things that I should do – and I’m getting nothing done.

So there has to be something wrong with how I live my life. Maybe I should just… deliberately slow it down a bit. And I think that this fall might be just the right time to do it.

What is slow living – Scandinavian style?

Now there are several ways to slow your life down. But the ideas that I’m most interested in, come from Scandinavia. They have these consepts that somehow combine slower pace of life, comfort, cosyness and happiness in life. And these ideas are perfect for this time of the year, when it gets colder and darker outside and you’re spending more time indoors. You shouldn’t feel bad about it – quite the contrary. You should embrace it and make the most of it.

These consepts of slow living have sort of been built around a couple of Scandinavian words: A Danish word hygge and a Swedish word lagom. For now, let’s talk about hygge. But what is hygge?

What does hygge mean?

Hygge describes the feeling when you’re warm, cosy and comfortable. You all know that feeling, right? And when you try to bring more hygge to your life you try to find ways to make you feel that way as often as possible.

It’s that feeling in the Christmas morning when you’re all excited about spending time with your loved ones, having delicious food and just staying comfortable indoors wearing wollen socks, playing board games, drinking mulled wine and just enjoying yourself without any stress or rush. That cosy happy feeling. That’s hygge.

Lights and fires are a great way to add hygge
Lights and fires are a great way to add hygge

Hygge is a very feel good word. When it’s cold and raining outside and you sit comfortable in your armchair with a warm blanket, a box of chocolate and a good book. And you feel like purring… that’s hygge at best.

Hygge is also all about your family and closest friends. People that you feel very comfortable with and you don’t have to pretend to be anything other than what you are.

How to bring more hygge to your life this winter

Now, what it all comes down to is this: Hygge makes you happy. And we all want to be happy.

Here’s how you bring more hygge to your life:

How to bring more hygge to your life this winter
How to bring more hygge to your life this winter

Focus on feeling good

I think the point that I’m trying to make, to you and to myself is:

We should make life more simple. It seems like we are so encouraged and even pushed to always have a focus and to always aim for something more, that we sometimes forget to live in the moment. To just enjoy life as it is right now.

I broke up with my boyfriend about a year ago and I was seeing this really calm and laid-back guy for a while earlier in the summer. I’d been a bit lost with my life for a while and I kept telling him that I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. His answer was: ”Do you always have to know?” I mean, he was a quiet shy sort of a guy who didn’t speak much but I have to say that when he did it sort of made sense. Why do I always have to know? Is it not ok to not know? To just stand back, relax, let life lead you for a while and give it time.

So what is hygge? It’s all about looking after yourself. And it isn’t just about a healthy diet and exercise. Give yourself time to go through whatever it is you’re going through. And focus on feeling good.

Have a very hyggelig winter this year.

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