Ever wonder how the Danes remain some of the happiest people in the world, despite long, harsh winters? It’s only January here in New York City and I’ve already begun my plunge into the cold, dark vortex of seasonal depression. I would do just about anything for 75 degrees and sunshine right now. So how do the Danish stay so sunny without the sun? It’s called Hygge, pronounced hoo-gah, and it’s the Danish philosophy that’s defined as “a quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being.” Just hearing the words makes me want to release a deep breath and Shavasana.
The Danes believe in creating spaces and moments that reflect hygge. Close your eyes and imagine the coziest cabin nuzzled into the snow-covered Denmark countryside. The fire is burning, a rugged man in a flannel is bringing you a mulled wine, homemade soup is on the stovetop… now open your eyes. That feeling is hygge. Pretty freaking awesome, am I right?
Luckily, hygge doesn’t have to be just a fantasy. Keep reading to learn how you transform your home into a Danish sanctuary this winter. Buff mountain man not included (sorry)!
1. Simplify: Throw away unnecessary clutter in your bedroom, office and living space. Find simple, sleek organizational solutions to replace the mess.
2. Bring Nature Inside: De-stress by adding a green leafy plant to every room. If you don't have a green-thumb, add natural textures and elements such as wood and stone.
3 . Soften: Fur throws, plush pillows, fuzzy socks- there's no such thing as too cozy.
4. Glow: Dim the lights and burn candles. Turn on the fire place and warm up the natural way.
5. Self indulge: Part of hygge is taking care of yourself. Run a bath, add the bubbles, buy a new, silky robe- give yourself the peaceful moment you deserve.
6. Make time for friends: Surround yourself with the people that you love and be truly present for a meal. That means NO cell phones.