It’s no secret stress levels are rising as our lives seem to get busier and more complicated with each passing day. But we don’t have to wallow in our anxiety and simply embrace the tension; we can easily put a stop to the endless cycle of stress that consumes us.
No, the answer isn’t to drink more wine — although, in moderation, that certainly can’t hurt. Instead, the solution lies in a cozy Danish concept you may not be familiar with: hygge.
Pronounced “hoo-ga” or “hue-gah,” the word hygge was originally a Norwegian term for well being and eventually developed into a way of life by the Danish in the 18th century. Although it can be applied to any time and space, it’s most applicable during the harsh, cold winter season for which Scandinavia is notorious.
When the weather outside is bleak and we're missing daylight, we may or may not hide away binging on Oreos and "Real Housewives."
But according to Denmark's inhabitants, we’re going about things all wrong.
To combat the dreaded winter blues, Denmark’s people turn inward and focus on all things hygge, establishing them as the calmest and happiest people on earth along with other Scandinavian countries.
There’s no exact English translation for hygge, but it’s most frequently described as “coziness” or “togetherness” and is more of a feeling or a mood rather than something tangiblet; think indulging in a hot bubble bath, sipping your favorite tea next to a scented candle or curling up under a blanket with a good book. Hygge is known to generate intimacy in any moment, calm the nerves, sooth the senses, create warmth and bring loved ones together.
And it's not just limited to winter, either; the hygge lifestyle can be pursued 365 days a year. During spring and summer, round up some friends and hit up the local park for a fresh-air picnic, game of frisbee or a hike. Or simply sit outside on your porch in a comfy chair with your favorite frozen drink and a magazine.
Have we sold you yet? We thought so. So now comes the fun part: turning your home into a hygge haven!
We’ve rounded up all the essentials you need to hit the hygge life hard — from luxurious candles to top-of-the-line coffees to home décor and even the coziest loungewear. Click through our list of feel-good items and you'll be well on your way to hygge heaven.