The secret to a more joyful life? Having joy.
We could preach the benefits of positive energy and gratitude journals all day, but that’s not really our thing. We are, however, going to address a centuries-old Danish axiom that trended so hard in recent years, Vice did a news segment on it: the concept of hygge.
What is Hygge?
This Danish word pronounced “hoo gah” roughly translates to “coziness” or the feeling of a hug. Mmm sounds warm and fuzzy. Hygge life is a Scandi custom of home decor that’s centered on calm, inviting interiors. It also values abstract principles like contentment, coziness, simplicity, relationships, and relaxation.
The rest of the world seems to have its own version. With hit shows like Tidying Up with Marie Kondo that promote practices similar to hygge, it’s now more popular than ever to incorporate Scandi minimalism into your life. And we all know that true happiness stems from following what’s popular (okay, maybe not). But there’s always something to learn. The biggest takeaway from the KonMari Method is filling your home with things that spark joy. If something you own doesn’t incite sprightly effervescence, dispose of it. So are you ready to spark some joy? Well here’s how to hygge your life.
Incorporate hygge to make the most of your space and lifestyle
#1. Cozify Your Quarters the Hygge Way
How do people relax during a polar vortex? Hyggeify your life.
Get some peace of mind by organizing your rooms. If you ask Marie Kondo, a decluttered abode is a cozy abode.
Keep everything in place with baskets or containers that hold hygge essentials like plush blankets. Consider storage ottomans or benches for extra space. Decluttering is a simple way to find everyday ease and contentment.
You can also combine contemporary furniture with statement pieces for a minimalist but unique design. New furniture is a worthwhile investment, but you can keep things affordable by purchasing from online furniture retailers with plenty of soft and cozy options.
Buffalo check, tartan and gingham are popular patterns during colder months for that cabin vibe. Find comfy throw pillows or rugs in your favorite colors to bring a snug feel to your home. Fill your place with board games and snacks, so that whoever has the pleasure of being your guest will feel at home.
The Un-Hygge Way: Avoid treating your space as a dumping ground for random things: get rid of that lone chair holding heaps of laundry or that stack of junk mail on your kitchen table. Your home should be more than a crash pad. Make it feel like a home, and you’ll enter it blissfully at the end of each day.
#2. Hygge Life Aesthetics
It’s the little things that really make a room. Keep styles uncomplicated and clean while fostering a playful spirit.
Highlight your hobbies through decor and cultivate shared fun. For example, dart boards are an awesome game to take part in with guests. This wall deco functions as a home good that displays your personality.
If you collect something unique, like vintage signs, put your collection on display as wall art. Maybe you play an instrument as a hobby. Showcase the instrument itself, or decorate with sheet music and lyrics that speak to your personality.
Don’t forget about light. Simplistic accents such as pendant, string, table or floor lamps provide ambiance to an otherwise straightforward space. Candles are another great way to tie in atmosphere. Tingle the senses with musky scents that promote warmth and virility like cinnamon, lemongrass and sandalwood.
Other hygge life accompaniments are herb and spice gardens and every type of houseplant. Bring serenity through life. If you love cooking, show that you’re serious about the freshness of your basil.
If your not yet ready for a life partner, or a dog, or a high-maintenance plant, consider easy to care for options like jade, cacti and succulents. Think outside the box when displaying greenery and use rustic hanging pots or freestanding grid gardens.
The Un-Hygge Way: Find the balance between bland interiors and untidy messes. Hygge values minimalism and practicality while also cherishing cozy personal touches. Don’t fill your space with too much or adorn with so little that it leaves you uninspired. And get rid of old items that no longer serve a purpose. Vintage record players are cool, but when was the last time you used a rotary phone? You can dispose of that, along with your ex-girlfriend’s toothbrush.
#3. Suiting Up Hygge
Staying cozy doesn’t just apply to your home. Bring hygge life and the feeling of a warm hug into every aspect, including clothing.
When venturing outdoors, stay stylish without giving up heat. There are more options than looking like Yeti or death by cold. Winter suits are particularly handy in cold weather. Look for heavy fabrics like wool, tweed and even flannel. Keep wardrobe colors wintery and timely with refreshing tones like oxblood, hunter green or cognac.
Layering clothing and investing in coats will help you stay cozy during frigid months. When layering, remember to focus on the base and mid layers as well as the shell, then complement with some color and texture. Pea coats, overcoats or parkas are terrific additions to any look.
The Un-Hygge Way: While trouncing around in sweatpants may seem the epitome of hygge life, you should still hold yourself to a certain standard when out and about. Avoid looking like you just rolled out of bed and keep remnants of your 10-hour movie marathon at home. You may also want to steer clear of cold, tanned fabrics like leather in the dead of winter.
#4. Indulge in Self-Care and Live Your Best Hygge Life
Savoring each and every bit of life is a Danish staple meaning it’s important to keep yourself in tiptop condition. There are plenty of masculine opportunities to treat yourself.
Think about adding a moisturizer to your shaving routine to keep your skin smooth and protected from blustery weather. Hit the gym for an invigorating workout to beat the slumps and winter blues.
Take care of your mind as well as your body by adopting new routines, noting small blessings and expressing gratitude. Relax by using your free time to unwind with a new movie or buy a new book and learn about an exciting new topic. Indulge in a little hot chocolate, add a little extra whipped cream to your coffee. The options are endless, so make self-care a priority.
The Un-Hygge Way: Doing too much may stress you out while doing too little leaves you feeling unmotivated. Find composure and assurance by keeping a schedule and setting time aside for self-care activities. And maybe try hitting the Juul a little less.
#5. Hygge Love: Join In on Cuffing Season
If you haven’t heard, it’s cuffing season. You can “hold your breath ’till your face turns purple” à la Lil’ Wayne, or you can embrace that love is in the air and get cozy with a special someone.
Companionship is a major asset to incorporating hygge. Turn that abstract warm hug into a tangible one.
If you’re coupled up already, cold weather can make it impossible to leave your home or apartment. Come up with ideas to keep yourselves occupied, like trying a new recipe or starting a new T.V. series. You can also avoid isolating yourselves from friends by planning group activities–perhaps invite some guests over to your newly hygge-ified abode.
If you’re single, be open-minded. Don’t spend all day glued to your phone, but you can use social media and dating apps as ways to flirt and get to know others. You never know who could be waiting on the other side of your next DM or right swipe.
The Un-Hygge Way: While it’s easy to hibernate and accept becoming a recluse during the winter months, resist the urge by getting to know others. On that 15th episode of a TV series binge, reconsider pressing play and get yourself out there. Join a new club, visit coffee shops or hit the local bar to see what’s going on in your neighborhood.