This winter has spelled the rise of the word hygge in the English vocabulary in Britain. It’s everywhere- in magazines, covering bookshelves of shops, on blogs…
In case you have had your head in the sand for the last couple of months, hygge is a Danish word which doesn’t have a direct translation in English. It can be roughly translated as cosy but I’ve heard people describe it as heart-warming, fun, comforting or I think of it as self-nurturing.
I think that the British are taking to hygge because hygge is like an emotion- it doesn’t seem to be real until you can find the word to label it with. We’ve known how to hygge all along. With the short days and cold and wet winters, we all know that feeling of going into hibernation as the nights draw in. It’s typically hard to get people out on a Saturday night in January. Instead people take en mass to sitting under duvets watching Netflix with a hot chocolate or glass of wine. We all have a favourite cosy jumper and our comfy clothes. I think the British hygge code of dress is pyjamas (though the habit of wearing them to the shops is a bridge too far for me…) and the hygge company is the people you live with.
Self nurturing is important at all times but as we deal with physical impact of less sun, long nights and frankly miserable weather we need a bit of self care more than ever. Hygge is about allowing yourself enjoyment and rest whether it be physical rest or taking a mental break.
I believe that we can learn a lot from the conscious act of choosing to do self-nurturing acts of hygge like the Danish. But let’s not forgot what we already do and I say, let’s own this hygge British-style! What could be more British-hygge than a Sunday dinner by a fireplace in your favourite pub after all? Or the Boxing Day match with your family or friends? I’ve included as the feature photo my favourite local place to hygge it up… how cosy it that?
Okay so it’s a bit naff to follow the trends sometimes and things go out of fashion as quickly as they arrive, but 2016 has been a turbulent year for all sorts of reasons and as the vitamin D wears off and the memories of summer slowly fade, let’s embrace hygge and let’s look after ourselves. Here’s to a happier and calmer 2017….