Since we started planning our trip to Denmark this winter, we also started researching Danish culture and trying to learn some of the language. ("Haj!!!") One of the things that kept popping up when learning about Danish culture was the concept of "Hygge". Hygge, pronounced "HOO-GA", is an atmosphere intentionally created for maximum coziness and joy. That's the easiest way to explain it. It can mean anything from hanging out by a fireplace, drinking hot cocoa, eating tasty pastries, wearing giant sweaters, basically anything that makes you feel like you're getting a giant hug.
We were totally enamored with the idea of Hygge and have tried our best to adopt it into our every day life. Here are some ways that we try live a hygge life on the daily:
We have at least one candle lit at all times. We usually have one scented candle lit and then other non-scented candles lit throughout our apartment. It's the greatest feeling to be able to turn off all of your lights at night and to just sit with candles.
Our favorite scented candles are ones with warm tones to them. Some favorites include this Mahogany Tobacco candle from Target, this Tabac and Leather candle from Crate and Barrel, and the Camp Kinnickinnic Candle from Big White Yeti.
Nothing goes better with candles than a warm bath. We love filling up the bathtub and surrounding it with candles. The most important part of a bath, of course, is making it smell amazing. Some of our favorite bath products include Dr. Teal's Relax & Relief Bubble Bath and Fern & Nettle's Bath Tea.
Alex prefers Bon Iver, but if you're doing hygge right, then you could really listen to anything. Even metal music, I suppose...
We're super competitive people. So we get REALLY into board games and card games. While it may not be the most relaxing thing, we love sitting down for a game of Uno or Egyptian Rat Screw.
If there's an excuse to wear a sweater, you better believe we're going to be wearing one. There were even some days this summer where we just turned on our air to be able to wear sweaters, watch Christmas movies, and pretend that it was snowing outside (we're not the hugest fan of warm weather, if that wasn't already obvious).
Really, to the Danes and to us, hygge is just intentionally being happy with the little things. Trying to minimize and be content with small moments can really be harder than it sounds. So if we can give you a piece of advice, sit down with someone you love, light some candles (and a fireplace if you can!), make your favorite dish, drink your favorite beverage and soak in that moment. Clear your mind of all the little things nagging for your attention and just sit and be in love with that single moment.