Hygge: The Danish Way To Live Well


As I had actually visited Copenhagen, Denmark at the beginning of last year, I was instantly drawn to the array of new books appearing on shelves promising to hold all the secrets of the happiest country in the world. 'Hygge', pronounced like 'sugar' is an untranslatable Danish word embodying cosyness, intimacy and finding joy in the simple things. Vague enough for you? 

So what are they doing right? Things that Danes seem to have as a part of daily life are an excess of candles, fireplaces and making family time a priority. Although, I'm sure that free transport, health care, university, an average 37 hour work week and 5 weeks holiday a year play a big part in the overall happiness levels of Denmark. 

Things that are NOT Hygge:
Smart phones 
Public transport and stressful commutes
Fad diets
Meal deals and takeaway

Things that ARE Hygge:
Comfy clothing and layers
Cooking hearty meals at home
Family getaways
Cycling to work
Reading in front of a fireplace under a blanket

I've made a good go of being more 'Hyggelig' in my daily life. Heck, even reading about this book in Starbucks looking out onto a rainy highstreet is pretty damn Hyggelig. I've also found myself getting the candles out, turning the fairy lights on and catching up on some embroidery for a proper Hygge sesh.

But really, these books aren't telling us anything we don't know, but it's nice to be reminded every now and then to put down the iphone, turn the telly off and be present in the moment with the people we care most about.

Have you read any books on Hygge?

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