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  • Jaycie Patterson

Hygge: / hoog-uh /:

Embracing comfort, togetherness, and well-being

Picture this: a cold winter night, you snuggled up on the couch with your favorite blanket sipping a warm mug of cocoa, watching a movie. The ultimate peace and comfort.

That is hygge.

Most of the time you are practicing it without even knowing it.

Hygge is all about the quality of coziness that makes a person feel content and comfortable. It's often used as an adjective meaning "cozy or comfortable."

This Danish-originated practice has been used all throughout Denmark for many years. It manifested from the endlessly dark Nordic winters, during which people found comfort and relaxation in watching their flickering dance of candles.

Hygge cannot be translated to one single word in the English language, but instead encompasses a feeling of contentment and well-being through enjoying the simple things in life. It has now become even more popular all over the world in today’s society.

“While I don’t enjoy that the sun sets around 5 p.m., I do love to curl up on the couch with my dog, a thick blanket, a good book that I’ve downloaded on my Kindle, and a hot cup of ginger lemon tea,” said Audrey Wagstaff, professor of Communication Arts and Social Sciences at Wilmington College. “If the snow is softly falling outside, that’s a bonus.”

Hygge is not just about a lifestyle change, it can include removing stressors in your space like “decluttering” or “de-stressing” your home.

The hygge lifestyle is predominantly enjoyed during the winter months, peaking around Christmas. The key to it all is to feel when you are connected to your most inner self with a sense of contentment or well-being.

So how can you be more “hygge?”

Be present and thankful. Take up a new hobby. Appreciate your surroundings, or even enjoy a good book. You can implement these practices in your lifestyle, in your home or dorm, or in other physical surroundings. Try incorporating a neutral color scheme all throughout your house. Create a comfy atmosphere for yourself. Bring different textures into your home like wool and neutral florals. Don’t forget about decorating with candles—they bring such calmness to a room, and it wouldn’t be hygge without them.

Now there are some habits that we often get confused with as practicing hygge when they are actually quite the opposite. Those may be things like staring at your phone all day, staying indoors alone all day during the winter, having strict rules for yourself, and even purchasing products just to be on-trend. While these activities may seem to be very hygge, they tend to add to discontentment.

Ultimately, hygge is about being your most comfy and cozy self, whatever that may look like for you.

So, this season, make sure you take the opportunity to practice hygge. Go grab the fuzzy blanket, make that cup of hot chocolate, and turn on that comfort movie you’ve watched a thousand times. See for yourself how hygge can change your life this winter.

witness [happenings].

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