Hygge: Living well the Danish way

4 December 2019

Hygge, popularised by social media, is a Danish concept of comfort, cosiness and warmth. Here’s Julie’s guide to Hygge and how it’s the perfect way to combat the winter blues.

Flat lay of hot chocolate, cinammon sticks and a blanket

Hygge (pronounced hoo-gah) is all about enjoying the smaller thing in life, like listening to your favourite songs, the smell of baked goods, clothes fresh out of the tumble dryer and much more!

If you’d like to experience a state of mindfulness, making mundane tasks enjoyable and live a life connected to those you love, why not give hygge a try! Here are some tips on how you can incorporate it into your life every day!

1. Focus on your connections

Living in a big city can often feel lonely, but remember although a legitimate emotion – it is a state of mind that will pass. Loneliness can exist even when you’re surrounded by people who love you and appreciate you. Instead of thinking about what support network you don’t have, focus on what you do have. It could be friends at UCL, at other universities, from home, work, your family etc.

2. Fresh sheets

Nothing feels better than getting back from a long day and crawling under freshly washed sheets. If you don’t already do this, add fabric softener to your wash-load - it will give that extra luxurious softness to your bedding. Creating that cosy and safe place for yourself at the end of a long day can make the world of difference.

3. Winter warmers 

As the temperature drops, this will be essential as you battle out the cold days. Treat yourself to that extra large scarf in Primark, that oversized jumper from the vintage market or pulling out that blanket your relative knitted for you! The comfort and warth they provide may just be what you’re missing!

4. Whisk away

Practice makes perfect and it’s healthier than pre-made! Everyone loves a baked good (or two), so get the oven going and don’t forget to share with your friends and family. My favourite mood-booster is a large batch of Chocolate Brownie Cookies – decadent! (Life hack: swap the electric whisk for a hand whisk for an extra workout.)

5. Aromatherapy

You simply cannot go wrong with scented candles and a hot bath! Keep an eye out for all the special Christmas fragrances. If you’re not too keen on candles, you could always try a diffuser with essential oils.

6. Top it with cream

It’s always good to take a break from your laptop and just cosy up in the corner of a room with a good book and a large mug of something hot! Hot chocolate, topped with marshmallows and cream is the way forward. If you’re in need of the caffeine, try black tea instead of coffee. It’s important to monitor intake of caffeine, as caffeine can reduce your intake of iron, leaving you feeling tired.

Julie Colonna, BA English Language and Literature