Hygge is the hottest social craze to hit the scene, but it is far from new. Hygge is actually a Danish way of life, roughly translating to coziness. Pronounced “hoogah,” this general sense of well-being involves all things that give you the warm fuzzies, including interacting with good people on a meaningful level. Here are my top 5 ways to add hygge to your life without hopping a plane to Copenhagen (although I recommend that as well if you are so inclined).
Taste: Tea Time
A warm drink is the essence of hygge, but you want to make sure your beverage of choice is full-bodied and inviting. I recently sampled Argo Tea’s Garden Direct Collection which features single source tea, meaning it comes from one region so truly represents the unique flavor of that part of the world. My Chamomile Blossom Tea comes from the Nile Delta in Egypt and is slightly sweet and earthy. LOVE how you can identify what is in your tea- whole blossoms make a gorgeous, hygge-ful cup.
Hear: Table Topics
Have you ever had an amazing, enlightening conversation that leaves you with a greater understanding of the world and different points of view? THIS is conversational hygge and can give you the same cozy feeling that other tangible items can. In order to inspire and provoke these types of interactions, grab a deck of Table Topics. Bust them out when you get together with friends (bring them to a bar and grab a Moscow Mule with my fave Barritt’s Ginger Beer- so hygge), or even during a quiet night alone with your significant other.
|Photo Credit: Ashley Hutchinson of Sed Bona|
See: Art Museums
Every time I visit an art museum, I connect with a few particular pieces that just speak to me. The incredible talent, inspiration and sheer genius of some artists fill me with the warm fuzzies- the essence of hygge. When I was younger and between jobs (and incredibly broke), I would spend my time at The Art Institute of Chicago on free days. Carrying a sketchbook, charcoal and a sense of calm I would sit for hours sketching the masterpieces in front of me. The Art Institute has winter free days for Illinois residents January 9- February 16th, as well as every Thursday from 5pm-8pm. I also adore the Milwaukee Art Museum, and it is only about an hour from the northern ‘burbs.
Touch: An Extra Long Hug
My son knows that I get one of these every day. It goes past just a brief squeeze, it is one of those hugs that lasts a few beats longer than the standard embrace. There are medical studies that show a 20-second hug “reduces the harmful physical effects of stress.” This is my absolute favorite form of hygge and it is unrivaled in my opinion. I know someday my son won’t let me crush him in a hug so I absolutely savor every moment.
Smell: Add a Dash of Zen
I hosted a brunch last weekend and made the most amazing (if I do say so myself) Maple French Toast in my slow cooker. It took me 5 minutes prep time and slowly flooded my home with a cinnamon-y vanilla aroma. This is hygge in two ways- knowing that you can create a delicious dish that will delight your guests without much effort, and introducing this spectacular scent to the scene. Of course, a side of fresh-squeezed orange juice paired with champagne makes this the perfect morning.
How do you add hygge to your life? Any cozy tips are greatly appreciated!