Body & Mind

How hygge are you?

Cold days has come. It’s a fact. Do you feel depressed by gloomy view outside your window? Or suffering from lack of the sun during cold autumnal days? Starting your work and coming back home when it’s dark can be really hard to embrace. It can negatively impact your body and mind. And here it is: Danish concept of ‘hygge’ that can help you enjoy your life during winter season. Why? Denmark has one of the happiest populations in the world despite long winter evenings. So let’s see what’s their secret.

Hygge is the Danish word used to describe the “cosy intimacy” e.g. when you are at home surrounded by your loved ones. Hygge is also often described as Danish way to live happy life. Meik Wiking, in his book The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living, reveals that Hygge is about an atmosphere and an experience, being with the people we love. A feeling of home. A feeling that we are safe.”

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Here are my top tips to enjoy happier life according to hygge:

Get comfy

Take care to enjoy wearing comfortable clothes at home. There’s even a word in Danish for them. Hyggebukser are that pair of pants you would never wear in public, but love to spend time at home on the weekends watching movies. Try some tricks to redesign your space at home to feel the essence of hygge by throwing some cosy blankets on your sofa. Fireplaces, oversized sweaters and thick socks make things way more hygge.

Turn down the lights

What other things are considered more hygge than candles? Candles are the most important part of creating a cosy atmosphere at home. Danes burn more candles than any other country in the world. Light some candles. This easy trick can make you feel hygge after stressful day at work. These feeling of comfort and safety can better allow us to be more present and open to connecting with one other people. My favourite scented candle is Zara Home orange blossom candle that perfectly goes with black tea with orange slices.

Build relationships

According to Mark Wiking, the best predictor of whether we are happy or not is our social relationships. Spend more time with your family and friends. Interestingly, hygge is about consciously creating a pleasant life so it is about consciously creating a more content and satisfied partnership. When the Danes earmark time to spend together, they make sure to truly mindfully be there for each other, putting away their phones and other distractions in order to concentrate fully on the other person.

Mix old with new

The Danes hate waste. They reuse and recycle pieces of furniture or find a new use of an old item. The good thing about hygge is that nothing has to be perfect. It’s more about the sentimental connection and memories instead of trendy furniture pieces from a catalogue. Hygge interior design creates an atmosphere that encourages cosy moments, such as leisurely dinners with friends or reading a great book by the fireplace.

How to implement hygge at work?

You can start to implement hygge elements in your work space, too. Office is a place where we might find it challenging to take care of ourselves or to create an environment focused on peace and calmness. Find small, safe ways to create change in your space to help you enjoy a sense of coziness. Especially if you work from home. You will find it easier to enjoy the space, which could lead to better productivity and job satisfaction. Here are some elements that can bring a little hygge into your workspace:

  • you can invest in a desk lamp with softer lightning, especially if you tend to stay overtime,
  • equip your desk with some green plant – they produce oxygen to help your brain stay sharp
  • cosy blanket placed into your chair can be used to keep you warm in the winter evenings
  • tea or cofee from your favourite mug is a hygge must. My favourite winter tea is the one with ginger, orange and honey. Super yummy.
  • do not forget about bringing pictures of  your family and friends or some motivational quote  in nice frame that will cheer you up in a gloomy day.
  • warm winter slippers are not only cute but also very comfortable – of course in case you work from home
  • find a scent that you feel relaxing and calming. Spray just a little bit of fragrance mist over your desk.  Bear in mind the preferences of your coworkers, especially if you work in the open space office.

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