Updated: May 22, 2019
Ever found a word or concept that was so on point and resonated so much with you that you couldn’t help but open a company and name it that! OK Seriously, I did that …. Anyway, while you get yourself together from either laughing or criticising me, let me share a bit about this concept I came across a few years ago!
And yes, it’s true, I loved it so much that I was so keen on naming my business The Hygge, which is exactly what I did. I’m pretty sure it’s not all that foreign to everyone and you may have heard of it or come across it!
Hygge, pronounced as HUE GAH, is a Danish/Norwegian word, that forms a major part of their lifestyle and culture. There are multiple variations of its meaning which I’ve taken the liberty of listing below;
- a mood of cosiness and comfortable conviviality with feelings of wellness and contentment
- the Danish art of cosiness
- creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people
- the art of creating intimacy: a sense of comradeship, conviviality, and contentment rolled into one
- It's apparently also dubbed the secret to Danish happiness
All of the above would mostly likely ring true, but my favourite one is that it’s a FEELING, of cosy contentment and well-being, through enjoying the simple things in life. It’s a feeling!
A distinct and intentional moment of pause, appreciation, making the most of the little things, things that may seem touché or insignificant. It's making life simpler, smiling, warmth, hugs, feeling of wellness, creating intimacy, …oh my gosh I could go on…but you get me, right?
On the surface it appeared that Hygge was associated a lot with winter fires, hot cocoa, candles etc. Turns out it's way more than lighting a warm winter fire, it’s a way of life. We as South Africans may not need Hygge to survive harsh winters, like the Danes do, but as our lives become busier, perhaps the people in the world’s happiest country (apparently), have the solution to our rising stress levels. Whilst I am not advocating that learning to Hygge will fix fundamental problems in life, I do believe that it can help steer us towards a better quality of life.
Now with me stumbling upon this beautiful concept and being totally wowed by its “on pointness” (as if that’s even a word!) …I realised that half the world was also trying to Hygge…Trending in fashion, home décor (very Scandi which I love BTW), Hygge apparel, wow, even Woolworths had some Scandi home décor linked to Hygge at a point, a few years ago. Usually, I don’t like to follow trends, but this one, I realised I really liked, and I wanted to know more about it.
If you’ve read my other blog posts you would know that I have 3 kids and life can get "pretty messy" (what an oxymoron :) ). Sad thing is that in all the chaos, it’s easy to miss the gold in the moments we have! This concept reminded me to find the gold, the pause, the “enjoy the little things” in each moment. Following my discovery, I tried to grasp what Hygge could mean for me...like, how can I get my Hygge on, how can I learn from this way of life. After giving it some thought I realised that actually, when I sit down and have my tea in my favourite spot and get that warm feeling, it's Hygge. When we're cuddling with the kids on a chilly morning, all 5 of us in one bed, laughing and rolling around, it's Hygge. When we meet up with good friends and family and enjoy a meal together, it's Hygge. It's about intentionally creating these moments over and above the craziness that exists.
I call it “minimising the complexities of life and increasing the joy of the simplicity of life”.
Although Hygge isn’t just a winter thing I reckon, with winter being upon us here in South Africa, it’s the perfect time to intentionally start creating some Hygge in your life. Create those warm cosy spaces in your home and create those Hygge moments. Go ahead, light that candle while you sip on your coffee, switch off those techno devices and pick up that book, savour the feeling of cosying up next to the one you love, have picnics in the park, braais with friends, evening strolls, bike rides, snuggle up with your little ones, share stories from years ago and look at old photo memories with your parents, buy yourself some new stationery for goodness sake, but make it happen!!! Complain less and find a way to win (got this line from my pastor!) There's always a way to win.
This may be a very simple and insignificant topic for some, but I’ve come to realise
that life can be compared to a wisp of vapour in the grander scheme of things, and it must be celebrated and lived with purpose and intent.
It was this 5-letter word, that reminded me of how to do that.
If you’re already doing it….now you can name it 😊 With that said, you’re probably one of the few and so I believe that maybe, just maybe it’s time for society to rediscover the art of simple living, simple pleasures and treasuring loved ones. Not procrastinating and making every moment count.