What Is HYGGE and Why You Need It!
So what the heck is this “hygge” thing we keep hearing about? It come from Denmark and is a lifestyle more than anything else. Hygge focuses on what really matters in life. It is a focus on family, relaxing, and enjoyment of the simple things.
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read full disclosure here. AND if you’re looking for the FALL UPDATES of hygge with the family ideas or CHRISTMAS hygge with the family ideas go ahead and scroll toward the bottom of the page! Unless you want some awesome background of what hygge is and wonderful tips on how to achieve it in your life first!
It is something that in America, many if not most families seem to easily forget. How can we not? We are absolutely bombarded with technology and the drive to always have and do more. It is engrained in the mindset of our society that we must make a certain amount of money or hold a certain job in order to attain “the American Dream.” We are so focused on our social engagements, after-school activities, our work, and constantly buying the newest or biggest and best thing that the simple ideas of hygge are lost on many of us.
Let’s start with how to pronounce this foreign word. If you’re saying “hi-ghee” you’re doing it wrong.
First off, there are multiple correct pronunciations of the trending word. The most popular is “hue-guh.” There are also other acceptable pronunciations such as “hyue-gar” and “hoog-jar” and “hoo-gah” as well.
Ok, so now we can say it. So what IS hygge (hoo-gah) and why should you implement it into your life?
Well, put most simply it’s the Danish word for “cozy.”
It’s really a broad term that was described by author Helen Russell as, “complete absence of anything annoying or emotionally overwhelming” and “a focus on togetherness and prioritizing the people in your life.” Some refer to it as, “the art of creating intimacy.”
Danish people and children are ranked happiest in the world.
There isn’t record of them being plagued by depression, mental disorders, and frequent school shootings as our beautiful America has become. So, many are proposing that the way most choose to live their lives and raise their children, implementing hygge as part of their culture is what this can be attributed to!
So why not give it a try?!
Why not bring more of the focus of their culture into ours? Family, enjoyment, being present, and coziness! Let’s learn how to hygge together and raise some super-happy kids like Denmark is said to bring us.
Below I’m going to guide you with how to set the scene for your family hygge time as well as list some super simple cost-free activities to try to hygge with your family. (Remember it’s hoo-gah… my brain is still learning to accept that and I’m constantly mispronouncing it in my head as I’m repeatedly typing the word!)
**Hygge is so easy to achieve in the fall and winter months so I’ve made yet ANOTHER list of 25 unbelievable ways to tie hygge into your home this fall!**
HOW TO SET THE HYGGE MOOD IN YOUR HOME
1. A huge part of learning to practice hygge with the family is setting the scene. Lighting is important and a simple way to set the mood. Candles especially, and other forms of dim lighting are perfect. I love using this great Himalayan salt rock lamp in addition to candles and sometimes topped of with these cute little battery operated string lights I have around the living room. I wish we had a fireplace too… one day.
2. Make some warm drinks and use special cups.
Hygge practices seem to usually include warm drinks. What’s your favorite? I love homemade hot cocoa and tea. Enjoy the experience of making it. Use a teapot, bust out grandma’s old fancy tea cups or your favorite giant mug. The weather right now has totally warmed up so I’m not always feeling the hot drink, but making some homemade lemonade and sharing it with the family in your favorite cups brings me just as much to the right hygge mindset.
3. Get cozy. Wear comfy clothes. Slippers, p.j.s, yoga pants, soft fabrics, or nothing. You want to feel good and focus on the pleasure these simple positive feelings bring you during this time.
4. Turn off the gadgets! (Wait, did I hear a scream at your end of the computer? Just kidding!) No, I don’t mean that to practice hygge and bring this awesome idea into your life that all electricity must go off. However you shouldn’t be sitting there texting, reading e-mails, or doing anything that draws you away from the moment or the people you’re surrounded with.
If your family super loves the screens (which is totally ok) you can have this special bonding time watching a brand new movie and cuddling. Or watching an old favorite. Or even watching old home movies. Maybe even cuddling under a cozy blanket learning and playing your kids’ favorite new game on their tablet. You can totally incorporate our nifty electronic devices into your hygge night. But for goodness sakes put your phone away!
GREAT ACTIVITIES TO HYGGE AS A FAMILY
- play a board game
- watch a new movie
- play Pictionary
- cook a hearty stew, chili, or pasta sauce together
- bake cookies
- bake a cake
- read books together
- look at old family photos
- play charades
- watch a family favorite movie
- watch home movies
- handwrite letters to family who can’t be with you
- light and cuddle around the fireplace
- tell stories
- do art or a simple craft together
- make up a new game
The weather is finally coming that makes it oh so easy to try out hygge with the family! The days are shortening and the weather is cooling. Storms are coming and school is in. There is absolutely no better time to practice a little or a lot of hygge with the family.
Great Fall Hygge With The Family:
- Bake homemade pumpkin bread
- Roast pumpkin seeds and chow down while watching a favorite Halloween movie. (I have very littles so we’ll opt for Frankenweenie!)
- Make apple cider (from scratch for a hugely fun but messy as heck experience OR from the less healthy but super yummy little packets) and play a board game together
- Cuddle under a fleece or knitted blanket together and browse Halloween costume ideas on Pinterest (told you that you can totally incorporate “screen time” into hygge)
- Light as many candles as you can find, play music, and look through old photos. Tell stories and share memories along the way.
Hop on over here to get 25 great ways to hygge this fall!
Great Christmas Hygge With The Family Ideas:
- Gather up all the Christmas cards and spend time sharing stories and memories about the family members who sent each
- Make peppermint hot cocoa from scratch. (Super easy: heat milk or almond milk on the stove and add in unsweetened cocoa powder followed by your sweetener of choice. We use stevia but go ahead and use sugar if it’s to your liking. Add a few drops of pure vanilla extract and stir with a whisk or a hand mixer. My father would tell you the latter was the only proper way. Set a mini candy cane at the bottom of each cup and pour the hot liquid over. Enjoy!)
- Play holiday music with the lights down low and spend time making a ridiculously time consuming tree adornment together like paper chains or stringed popcorn. It may seem tedious but I don’t think any child whose strung popcorn has a bad memory of it.
- Light candles and sit together around the table and learn and sing Christmas carols. Talk about the silly old fashioned words and what they meant.
- Bake a special treat to deliver to the neighbors. Either announced or as our favorite, for that neighbor who sticks out in your mind as needing or deserving some extra care and love in this season, then ding dong ditched as their Secret Santa. Peanut butter cookies, brownies, fudge, chocolate bark, or fresh baked bread are super awesome and deeply appreciated gifts.
I’m so excited that fall is back upon us I couldn’t help but update this wonderful hygge with the family post with some heartfelt, creative, touches for the upcoming holiday season! Hope you get a chance to try them all!
I just love that hygge is becoming a “thing” in America.
I love that there is a term that I can give this lifestyle I’ve been learning to create over the past couple of years with my family. Remember to make everything cozy and comfy. Don’t forget to be present. Remember to enjoy what you have, the things and the experiences, the NOW.
Let me know how you decide to incorporate hygge into your nights below! Is it something you regularly do, or something your excited to implement into your lifestyle? I can’t wait to hear from you. Here’s a perfect image to pin for later. 😉
If you’re planning on giving this a try make sure you read my Guide To Healthy Living. It’s packed full of great lifestyle tips and really gives you a wonderful feel for what this blog is all about.
And my last tidbit, I think you might love is some tips on self-care as a mother and 25 more self-care ideas . A lot of the ideas keep the same mindset as hygge. When you combine all these tips and tricks you’re going to be one happy and healthy YOU!