Hygge is one of those things no one knows how to pronounce or understands what it is. I know this because at work, we all had a good time trying to design a marketing campaign around it. Turns out, that’s pretty difficult when no one can even pronounce it! We all came to the conclusion that it was pronounced “Hue-guh” and not “Higg-ey” like we originally thought. So with that in mind, let’s talk about using Hygge to calm anxiety when it acts up.
What is Hygge?
Before you can live it, you have to understand it. Hygge, according to Wikipedia, is a Danish and Norwegian word for a mood of coziness with feelings of wellness and contentment. Basically, it means you’re happy and you feel at ease.
Infusing Hygge into Your Life
Cozy blankets, candles lit everywhere, a good meal, a cup of coffee, journaling, a relaxing hobby. All of these and more can contribute to a hygge lifestyle. But an important aspect of hygge is having a space that contributes to serenity and contentment. I think the best place to start isn’t at Bath & Body Works buying a bunch of candles, but at a packing store buying boxes. Decluttering your home and getting rid of things you no longer use or cause anxiety is really important when it comes to perpetuating a relaxing atmosphere.
When I come home from work, I spend about 15 minutes decluttering my space from the night before (or from what my cats and dog have managed to get into during the day). I pick up shoes, bags, cups, and other clutter. After I’ve done this, I go about lighting candles, changing into comfy clothes, and putting on a favorite tv show. Usually I sit down with a comforting meal and settle in for the night.
Hygge extends beyond your home though! I love to keep my desk at work hygge-friendly and even my car! At my desk, I keep it as decluttered as possible and hang postcards from family and friends everywhere. I also keep a blanket at my chair so I can wrap up when I need something soft to help reduce my anxiety.
In my car, I try to keep it clean and smelling fresh with air fresheners and if the weather is nice enough, the moon roof stays open for fresh air!
Hygge Throughout the Year
Hygge is most commonly associated with the winter months but I think it extends throughout the year. Afterall, our anxiety certainly isn’t limited to one season! Use hygge concepts to help your anxiety during spring, summer, and fall too!
Spring hygge ideas: Fresh flowers on the table, lavender lemonade to sip on, open window next to an arm chair with a light blanket draped over it.
Summer hygge ideas: Strawberry salad to munch on, twinkle lights on your porch, basket full of fresh fruit and veggies sitting on the counter, soothing aloe vera for your skin.
Fall hygge ideas: Pumpkin soup on the stove, warm cinnamon latte in a cup, wicker basket filled with soft blankets, slow jazz music playing.
Any moment you can take to slow down and just be content in your space, is hygge driving out feelings of anxiety. Being content and happy is so hard in the world we live in. Happiness is often hard to find, but I’m learning that you can find it in the small things- and that can make all of the difference.