Hygge (pronounced hoo-gah), a Danish word meaning comfort and coziness, warmth and connection. (Though it is said there really is no good English translation.)
Hygge was one of the most popular words of 2016. But I’d like to think it wasn’t the word, but the interpretation, that people fell in love with.
Pictures across the internet portray hygge scenes: friends gathered by a fire; a woman quietly sipping tea; someone reading a book with nothing but nature to distract. Hygge is, in my words, tranquility. Peace. Serenity. I love hygge, and I’m trying to practice it daily.
My morning begins with a session of hygge-ness.(Is that even a word?) Sipping tea. Reading a book. Glancing out the window, seeing nothing but the trees in the distance, and the elderly man who walks his dog in the early morning hours.
Hygge is found in the middle of my day, though sometimes it slips between the pages of my calendar. But usually, I can pull it out, find time to just breathe and whisper a few words of prayer, or maybe jot notes in my journal. Hygge keeps my day relaxing, even in a sometimes hectic world.
My day ends with hygge, quiet reading in bed, sipping more tea as my husband and I cuddle on the sofa. I take a few breaths as I lull into slumber.
But my favorite hygge practice is on the weekend, when all cares are cast aside, all chores forgotten. The dark morning calls my name. As I slip out of the bedroom, careful not to wake my husband, the cool crisp air touches my skin. I hear nothing. It is silence. The world is still asleep.
I pull out my mug, listen to the teapot whistle my name, and crack open a book. Nothing but me, darkness, and hygge.
It is then I know, I have hit upon something great.
The concept of hygge is changing my life. It is changing me.
Hygge may not have a perfect English definition, but the concept is about as perfect as it can get.
What can you do to have a little hygge in your day?
Need a little inspiration? Check out these pictures of hygge.