It’s late February, and that means, although still well within winter’s grasp, the wheel of the year is turning, which means that in roughly six weeks or so, spring will begin to erupt. But in the meantime, there is still plenty of cold and snow around.
Yet, it is still possible to find comfort and contentment – especially at home.
Drawing on the idea of “Hygge” (pronounced “HOO-ga”), a Danish concept that has several meanings, including “coziness.”
“Hygge embraces the idea of positivity and enjoyment that comes from everyday experiences,” writes author Olivia Telford, author of “Hygge: Discovering the Danish Art of Happiness.” She continues: “Taking it at face value, anything the person determines as cozy and comfortable could be considered hygge.”
With it’s origins in the Nordic region, hygge is a philosophy that developed in a part of the world that is famous for long dark nights, the cold, and long winters. Yet it remains a practical and appropriate concept to cultivate . . . especially throughout the winter months in North America.
“[The] lifestyle of hygge has evolved to implement things [that] can [be] enjoyed inside,” Telford explains. “This is where the stereotypical pictures of warm socks, soft candles, a roaring fireplace, and a comfortable blanket slung over the knees comes from.”
At its heart, hygge emphasizes comfort and coziness, reading, candles, and contentment. It’s Zen-like emphasis on simplify is refreshing, as it is needed. In American culture, there is too much – in the author’s opinion – attention paid to always having to do something or to be somewhere. Hygge counteracts this impulse and invites us instead to find happiness and contentment in our homes and immediate surroundings.
It’s not too late to practice hygge in your home this winter. There is still time to find peace, comfort, and contentment at home.
Telford, O. (2017). Hygge: Discovering the Danish Art of Happiness.