I have not been fortunate enough to ever visit Denmark. It is often reported as being one of the ‘happiest countries’. These sort of reports always intrigue me. What is that makes these places the happiest?
They have proper winters – up to 17 hours of darkness per day and average temperatures around 0C.
Winter is a season I struggle to fully embrace and appreciate. I have personal reasons so it’s not just the darkness and the weather, it’s a sad time for me (that’s for another day and a different post).
This year I am on a mission to make friends with winter.
Here in the UK we are definitely preparing for the winter. The clocks have changed, bringer longer periods of darkness. The sunny, blue sky, crisp autumn days seem to have faded. My mission is underway.
This year, I am planning to do it like a Dane! If they can be happy in winter, I want some of what they have.
Ok, let’s be realistic, I am not going totally Danish but I am trying to create and embrace a bit of Hygge.
Pronounced “hue-gah”. There is no straight forward translation into English.
Hygge = The ritual of enjoying life’s simple pleasures and simple living. Spending quality time with friends and family. Deeper connections with others and our surroundings. Good feelings. A feeling of well-being. Coziness and warmth. Contentment. Enjoying the moment. Feeling open-hearted and alive. Being kind to yourself. Candles seem very popular at winter.
It’s something you feel.
Hygge is a concept you can embrace in every area of your life and it’s not just a winter thing.
So I have invested in some new festive lights, seasonal scented candles and candle holders. I bought some cozy new pj’s (pajamas) and my new slippers are definitely hygge!
My house is already little and cozy. I love the idea of creating a hygge home. My stove is definitely hygge, I even have locally foraged pine cones to add.
I am well stocked with books to read (enough to last years if I am honest).
I have dug out my snuggly warm, colourful, hats scarfs and gloves. I can still go for lovely walks in the dark, enjoying the cool fresh air and appreciating the night sky. I am looking forward to seeing festive lights in my community.
I will make the most of spending time with all my family and friends. I will remind myself to be grateful all those little moments of closeness and love. I will choose to remember lost loved ones with my treasured memories and be grateful for these.
For more inspiration – Hygge: A heart-warming lesson from Denmark
What do you reckon? Do you plan to have any Hygge in your life this coming winter? If there are any Danish people out there, it would be great to here from you about your experience of Hygge.