Our lives can be so busy that it can be difficult to find time to relax and unwind. If there is one thing that the Nordic region ranks high on its happiness, consistently topping the polls as the happiest people on earth, and I believe that is closely linked with our love of hygge. We are masters of creating a calm environment in our homes and enjoying the little things in life and making sure we savour the everyday comforts.
Here are 10 tips for finding hygge in your everyday life, little things that can make a big difference:
^ Always keep baked goods in the freezer for a quick little pick-me-up! Norwegian heart-shaped waffles, cinnamon buns or anything you like. Bake these yourself or stock up from your favourite cafe or the grocery store (the ones I have here are from the frozen section at Ikea). An added bonus is that you will always have something on hand to serve guests whenever they might stop by for a coffee and a chat.
Taking up a hobby can be a great way to switch off and refocus. Create hygge moments by either taking up a new and exciting hobby you always wanted to enjoy, or by picking back up something you used to have fun doing. A craft hobby like knitting or sewing can be a lovely way to relax as well as drawing or painting, or simply grab a good book you have been meaning to read and start. The possibilities are endless, so pick something that will make you feel happy and relaxed.
^ Put your phone in your pocket and have a walk without any distractions. It makes you discover lovely details on the way you might not have seen if you just looked at your phone. Technology can be such a big distraction and we tend to be either on our phone, computer or tablet way too much in our daily lives. I am trying to be more conscious about this, to make more of an effort to be present and enjoy the moment. Something I find helps is to turn off my notification, so unless I open an app and want to engage I am not reminded about it.
Being outdoors in nature is also key, whether that is on your own, together with friends or walking your dog. Fresh air and a clear head does wonders to your mood and makes you feel ready to tackle whatever comes your way.
^ Get together with a few friends and enjoy each others company. You might know the Swedish term fika, it basically means having a coffee break with friends often accompanied by a little something to eat. The perfect way to get together in my mind!
Always choose the window seat when you visit a cafe. It is the perfect place to sit and watch the world go by in true Scandinavian style.
Candles always creates a calm and cozy atmosphere, especially on those cold and dark evenings. Light a candle and its like ‘instant hygge’ – don’t you agree? As the Scandinavian countries are some of the largest consumers of candles in the world, we know to embrace the power of the warming glow of candlelight.
^ And when we talk about candles and lighting, another great tip is to turn the lights down low. In Scandinavia light is very important (especially in the winter months because we have so little of the natural lights), it is a way to set the mood and by dimming it you create a calmer and more enjoyable atmosphere in your home. This Enno lamp by Tala is a touch lamp which means you can dim it by simply tapping the base. Perfect for creating a cozy mood.
Staying in. You can’t beat a night in and a Netflix binge, am I right? Set the mood in your home, get into your comfy clothes, find snacks and get cozy. A few of the series I have been enjoying lately is Maniac (a dark comedy-drama based the Norwegian tv series with the same name) and Kidding (a brilliant new show with Jim Carrey).
^ Decorate your home with little memorabilia and cozy items that make it more homely. Since moving I am enjoying finally unpacking all my treasured pieces of Scandinavian design, the things that make my house feel like a home. These little birds are just one of these things I love to display, and they fit perfect in my new bedroom. This bird duo from Architectmade, for instance, is something I love displaying in my bedroom to make it more hyggelig.
Let me know, what are your top hygge tips?
Need more inspiration? Check out my blogpost how to practice hygge in the weekend.
// Photo credit: Ingrid Opstad