The search for Hygge took us to Copenhagen last week. We boarded a plane, not sure what to expect from the world’s happiest city, but sure that we needed to find out.
So Hygge. What the heck even is it? Well, it’s a feeling, it’s cozy and quaint. It’s that gif you shared of a warm bedroom with snow falling outside the window. It’s a cup of hot chocolate by the fire, it’s playing Jenga with your friends on a stormy night. It’s how Danish people survive winter and stay happy. In Denmark, they don’t get much sunlight in the winter, so they have to stay sane somehow. Most of us would be miserable, but the Danes have it sorted.
Hygge in the home:
According to my favorite book at the moment, ‘The Little Book Of Hygge’, every home needs a ‘hyggekrog’, basically a nook. Somewhere you can sit with a book and a cup of tea, you need blankets, cushions and cozy. You don’t have to spend tons of money creating a cozy space. I went out at the weekend and stocked up on scented candles, blankets, books and cushions. I’m obviously inspired.
It’s all about books, natural elements, warmth and great design.
Hygge in Denmark:
If you visit Denmark, there are lots of ‘hyggelig’ places to go. We visited Christianshavn and took a lovely sunny walk around the harbor to Freetown Christiania. What could be more hygge than a communal festival full of people of all ages banging tambourines and trailing giant streamers around? I’m not sure.
There’s also Nyhavn, a harbor packed with great restaurants. While there, find a place to have smørrebrød. It’s literally everywhere. They are open-faced sandwiches with a thin layer of sourdough rye bread called rugbrød, and are apparently an element of ‘hygge’ Danish people miss when they’re abroad. I had mine with pork and pickle and onion wafers. It was unusual, cold, but tasty.
We stayed in the Hotel Bella Sky, which was an impressively large, modern hotel. Most people describe it as ‘hyggeligt’, (cozy!) and although it isn’t rustic, it certainly has that feeling. In the morning, breakfast is communal and eaten while looking out at the sprawled out world below you. There was nothing more ‘hygge’ than opening the automatic blinds and watching the giant moon in the sky trailed by the tiny lights of the trains. I loved it, and I’m going back for sure. Even the Sky Bar at the top has a great communal, cozy, modern feel.
Hygge in your life:
The best things in life are free. My favorite time of year is around now, the colder, crisper months when we set amazing holidays and champion family time. Danish people love festivities with friends and family, and I think that’s the key to happiness. Here are a few free things you can do to embrace hygge wherever you are:
Board games, card games, any kind of game.
2. Have a swap party:
Invite people over and get rid of the things you’ve been meaning to sell on eBay. Other people will bring things they want to swap and between you, you will find something you love.
3. Have a movie night:
Cozy movie and TV evenings are sacred. Outdoor movies are also great in summer or winter, providing you have hot drinks (mulled wine!) and plenty of warm blankets.
4. Create a mini-library:
Just seeing books is inspiring. Danish people love their nooks so create a small library in a nook you have that often gets filled with other non-essentials.
Bonfires always give me an amazing feeling. They remind me of fireworks parties with friends. If you can go to a bonfire party you should. The smell of smoke is amazing. I know bonfire night is a pretty British tradition, but there really is nothing better than hot dogs, fireworks, and a gigantic fire!
6. Have a soup cook-off:
Get your nearest and dearest around and cook some soup in large batches. Hilarious fun, but gives you lunch and dinner for months. Particularly if you freeze it.
The Career Girl Academy is taking place on the 27th November. With classes on how to build a business from scratch, become a successful blogger, get the job you want, manage your money and get your name out there, we will help make 2017 your year!
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