Have you heard the Danish word hygge? Up until last week, I had not. But then I mentioned it to a friend and she had heard of it and tries to live a hygge filled life. I think we would all be better off in life if we embraced it more fully. So, what the heck is hygge?

Hygge, (pronounced hoo ga) is a Danish word, but beyond that it really is a concept and a movement. It cannot be defined easily with one word. In my case I need a few definitions to help me understand the word.

The art of building sanctuary and community by inviting closeness and paying attention to what makes us feel open hearted and alive. To create well-being, connection and warmth. A feeling of belonging to the moment and to each other. Celebrating the everyday.

I live in the upper Midwest and we need hygge in the depths of winter. But I would encourage us to embrace it year-round. In short, it means for us to live a cozy life. To have warm blankets and cozy socks. To sit by the fireplace and play games. To light candles and create mood lighting. In the summer, it is gathering my friends around our fire pit.

Do you live a hygge life? When I get home, the first thing I do is put on my most comfortable clothes, usually a dress of some sort. My husband calls my get ups “day jammies” as I wear them most of the day in the house. I also wear my Ugg slippers when I am going to and from the gym. I may run an errand or two in my slippers and people look at me in an odd way. But hey, I am cozy.

I work from home so being able to embrace hygge is already natural to me. I sip my tea while lying in bed with my Surface all while wearing my day jammies. If it is cold out, I don’t need to leave the warmth of my down comforter.

An important element of hygge is being a little silly and finding laughter. For me, it is wearing those slippers out in public. Or I wear my hair on top of my head in a ridiculous ponytail. I smile to myself as I go about my day looking just a little silly. I bring a smile to my husband’s face as he thinks I look like a cartoon character with my hair all crazy. You will also find me drinking my tea from my favorite mug with a few curse words embellished on it.

Maybe it is having a game night with your friends and family with a night filled with laughter and memories.

Living a hygge life, we celebrate the everyday.   Hygge is about embracing the simple, small pleasures in life. For me, I will light a candle, take a bath or have fresh flowers in my home. These relativity simple things truly bring me joy.

I really believe that the Danish are onto something here. I know some Danes and they are always happy and stress seems to elude them. Maybe we should all have a little more hygge in our lives and in our homes.

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