As with most things I am late to become aware of different trends, usually a year or two after they have become popular.
Hygge (pronounced ‘Hue-gah’) is a Danish term for finding pleasure and comfort in simple and everyday things, with an emphasis on comfort and coziness. I only discovered the term towards the end of last year, when The Bloke bought a Hygge book for his sister at Christmas and it was something that I immediately connected with.
After having a particularly stressful few days during the week and being low (partially due to the constant rain and dull weather we seem to have experienced over what seems like months), I decided to devote today to having a full Hygge experience in my own home. The Bloke was going to be out for most of the day as he was visiting his family, so it was the perfect chance for me and the cat to indulge in a relaxing day…
I prepared for it the day before by tidying up my living room – the place where I planned to spend the day – bought an unsliced crusty brown loaf of bread, French onion soup and prepped a sausage casserole (one of my favourite dishes) for my evening dinner.
First thing this morning, I went for a leisurely walk to the park to try and get some nice pictures. It had lightly snowed and was freezing, but I wanted to get some fresh air as a positive start to the day.
When I got home, I put on a pair of freshly washed, clean flannel pyjamas, a comfy, oversized cardigan and a pair of thermal, fluffy socks. I turned the heating on and opened the curtains as wide as possible to allow as much light as I could into the room.
I then created a little ‘nook’ on the couch filled with cushions, pillows and fluffy blankets (which the cat loved as much as I did), and lit some scented candles.
I climbed into the blankets and spent fifteen minutes meditating and practicing deep breathing – my bloggy friend Lucy swears by this and has often recommended that I try the Insight Timer app, which I downloaded a few weeks ago.
Instead of turning the television on, I picked up one of the many books that I have been meaning to read for a while, and read until I felt I’d had enough.
I cooked the French onion soup, topped with cheesy brown bread croutons, did a little bit of social media and decided to watch a film. I didn’t want anything that would cause levels of stress, so I put on ‘Valley Girl’ – a ridiculously cheesy-but-feel-good 80’s film (and Nicolas Cage’s first film) – and smiled all the way through it. The cat had nestled himself amongst all of the cushions near my head by this point and was busy snoring into my ear.
As it started to get dark, I put the casserole into the oven and ran a hot bubble bath, turning the lights off and lighting candles all around the bathroom. I put in my favourite relaxing playlist and practiced more deep breathing while I lay in the bath.
By the time The Bloke got home I had got out of the bath, changed back into my pyjamas, cardigan and socks and the casserole was ready. We talked and laughed, and he had a little snooze.
And as I sit here, writing this post, I feel more relaxed than I have done in a while – cosy, warm and happy.
What to bring more Hygge into your life?
- Create a relaxing space filled with cushions and fluffy blankets.
- Snuggle up in knitted clothing.
- If you have one, light the fire in your living room.
- Candles, candles, candles!
- Do something creative that makes you happy – knit, sew, write, read, colour, draw, paint…
- Have technology free hours. Turn off the electronics and be mindful of your surroundings.
- Make comfort food that requires slow cooking.
- Treat yourself with hot and comforting drinks. I’m not a fan of things like tea and coffee, but I did see a recipe for cinnamon hot chocolate with marshmallows that I’m desperate to try!
- Be aware of and take comfort with your surroundings…
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