Hygge (pronounced "hoo-gah") is probably something you have heard of or might even already practice.
As the new year approaches and we have all been through so much the significance of this concept we feel, could not be more relevant for a much needed dose of self care to take us in to 2022. But what exactly is it?
WHAT DOES HYGGE MEAN?
The Danish word can't be directly translated in English, however the feelings it evokes are of cosiness, comfort, contentment and an overall sense of wellbeing. The concept of hygge is also about gratitude and enjoying moments mindfully.
Hygge is personal to whoever is experiencing it and how. So it could be mindfully enjoying your favourite hot drink, snuggling in a cosy blanket, taking in the scenery while out in nature, spending time with friends - the significance of hygge is how it makes you feel not what it looks like to others.
Winter is commonly associated with hygge, as the closest translation we have is 'to console' or hug in English but in Denmark hygge is practiced all year round. Think freshly brewed coffee, cashmere socks and log fires in autumn/winter but this could be appreciating the first spring flowers, a bbq with friends in the summer or the feeling of warm sand on your feet. If you are still unsure how to add hygge into your life and wanted to immerse yourself in it there is the hygge and happiness tour in Denmark to get you started.
THE BENEFITS OF HYGGE
As winters are long and dark the practice of hygge is known to combat the effects of SAD (seasonal effective disorder) as it brings you to the present with the appreciation of what you are doing in the here and now. It draws your attention to the cosy elements in the darkest days of winter and encourages you to feel the cosiness and comfort. It is also said that it can be helpful for depression, anxiety, increased self worth and optimism and lowered stress due to increased mindfulness, self compassion and gratitude.
To have a hygge Christmas the principles are the same and preparations can be made to the home to ensure ultimate cosiness. De-clutter the house before you begin decorating to ensure the home is prepared for the next step - building a warm and comforting atmosphere with gorgeous cushions and throws to sink into! Danes like to fill their home with comforting fragrance so get lighting your favourite Christmas candle or any scent that gives you that warm feeling.
Decorations are natural and an appreciation of nature is very hygge think wooden and paper materials, natural wreaths with beautiful fragrance from cinnamon sticks and dried orange. Real trees are also a beautiful tradition and we love the new direction that is becoming more popular of renting a 'living pot' so that trees are not needlessly sent to landfill. Take a look at our 'Sustainable Christmas Trees' blog for more details on our work on this.
A natural and sustainable way to feel hygge is to wrap your presents in home made gift wrap so not to create unnecessary waste. Get creative and you will be surprised with what you come up with.
Shop independent and local to support small businesses and your community, also this provides the opportunity to get something more personal and individual to the recipient.
However and whoever you spend this festive period with, all of us at CLOUD NINE wish you all a beautiful, cosy Christmas.
Merry Christmas x
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21st December 2021