Gettin’ Hygge With It {Word of the Year}

Yes, it’s taken me 19 days into 2018 to get around to my Word of the Year post.

But in my defense, the kids have been in school approximately 2.5 hours this year because a flu epidemic and a mini-ice storm that gripped the Southeast, which means there was no school for many, many, maaaaany days. That also means mama ain’t got time to blog. My one-track-mind cannot focus on keeping my kids alive AND writing down blog content, so you know… priorities.

Ok, raise your hand if you have no clue what hygge means.  :raises hand:

Me either.

But when I stumbled upon this word during my quest to MPGA (Make Pinterest Great Again), I knew it was going to be my Word of the Year for 2018.

I had seen it get tossed around in books and magazines last year but honestly didn’t pay it much attention since I couldn’t begin to pronounce it with my Alabama accent. But once I began to dig deeper, hygge unfurled itself in my lap and settled around me like a warm fuzzy blanket.

I want more hygge in my life.

I NEED more hygge in my life.

And after you read this post, you are gonna want some hygge, too.

The Highlights of Hygge

Hygge is a Danish word that basically means comfort, warmth, coziness, ambience and companionship during the deepest, darkest, and coldest parts of winter. It is a state of mindfulness and wellbeing to calm your anxious mind and soothe your aching soul. It is candlelight and fireplaces and hot chocolate and children curled up beside you. It is turning off the technology and turning down the noise and getting back to companionship and nature.

There is no English word that encompasses all of these things under one sheltering umbrella. But the Danes invented one.

Denmark is very far north, which means they have very long, cold and dark winters. When the world outside is grey and bleak, the Danish folk are gonna be hygging out by the fire with a cup of hot tea in their hand, fuzzy slippers on their feet and fairy lights twinkling all around their heads.

Basically the Danes have developed a single word to perfectly describe that feeling you get when you step inside your cartoon grandma’s cottage at Christmas-time and the aroma-tendrils of fresh-baked goodies beckons you to sit by the fire, curl up with a hot drink in a heavy mug and feel the love and happiness of family wrap itself around you like a warm hug.

It is the art of slow living.

It is heartfelt and handmade goodness.

It is building a life you don’t need a vacation from.

It is self-care and soul preservation.

It is the Wellbutrin to your Seasonal Affective Disorder.

It is the ultimate Netflix and chill.

Americans today are more depressed and lonelier than ever, despite being connected to each other via social media 24/7. We have completely lost our face-to-face fireside chats and replaced it with the harsh blue light of an iPhone screen. That disconnect and anonymity of the internet emboldens people to say mean things. Like, really terrible, hateful things that they would NEVER dream of saying to your face if you were sitting beside them on a sofa having a real conversation.

So, today I am declaring–in this technology-driven world–I’m officially on the hunt for more happiness, friendships, community and above all…hygge.

This year I’m going to purposefully practice some major hygge and report back here with ideas for you and your family. These things won’t be particularly mind-blowing or earth-shattering.  They will be simple ideas to get back to the basics and teach our kids how to be humble and kind human beings while learning the art of coziness.

Our species has been instinctively practicing hygge since the dawn of time, but I can see it slipping away from us. Can you? It’s pretty sad that we’ve come to a place where these simple ideas have to be purposefully sought and taught, but this is where we are in the world.

Y’all wanna walk beside me on this journey and find ways to bring some hygge back to our lives?

Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Make yourself some homemade hot chocolate.

Homemade Hot chocolate boiling on stove

Start a fire in your fireplace or light some candles…

Hygge- candlelight warmth in front of fireplace

If candles are not your thing, diffuse some of my favorite winter essential oil blends.

Whip up a batch of homemade cinnamon rolls

homemade cinnamon rolls in cast iron skillet

Pick up your favorite book, or hop on Amazon and find a new one. Maybe read more about hygge in these popular books:

The little book of hygge

And start actively inviting your friends and family over to your house to hang out. If you don’t have folks who will hang out in person, try facetiming with them or talking via the Voxer app on your phone (my new favorite app).

Mainly just focus on finding the feeling of happiness and joy in simple, mindful living.

I’ve created a Pinterest board to help me hygge if you wanna follow along with it here: Slow Living, Mindfulness and Hygge Happiness

Slow Living, Mindfulness, Hygge, Home

So, who else needs more hygge in your life today?

PS- I’m calling this post Gettin’ Jiggy With It because “hygge” looks like it should be pronounced “higgie”. Unfortunately hygge is actually pronounced “hoo-gah” so that title makes absolutely no sense at all.  Maybe an alternate title would be “How to Hygge Up Your Home”.

 

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Comments

  1. Beth, this could not be a better word for 2018 and beyond! We all need a little more hygge in our fast pace, high-tech, multitasking life! At 54 I need some hygge in my life, some simple living, decluttering of mind and home, and a little more candlelight and less blue light. I look forward to reading your ideas and suggestions for putting more hygge in our life!

    Thank you!
    Amy

  2. Cheryl Major says:

    What an wonderful articule you have written. We have been trying to live more HYGGE for the past 16 years. We bought a log home in the bush on a lake 16 years ago. I always am looking for ways to slow our lives down. It is a balancing act of sure with 3 kids still at home. While we want a slow down life…they want to see friends and go to town often.

  3. Beth, I’m so glad you told me how to pronounce this word! I agree that we all need to live a more simple life and disconnect from time to time. Hopping off the computer as soon as I finish this comment!

  4. Thank you, Beth! I loved this. I am all for the Hygge. It is what I keep saying that we need. But when you wrote Build a life that you don’t need a vacation from?!?! THAT is GENIUS. Thank you for saying this. Made myself a cuppa tea in honor of it. Thank you.

    And I am with you on your quest to MPGA! I miss the way that Pinterest used to work because the inspiration is incredible from the pinners I follow. But I do not see those pins as easily as I once did, thanks to Pinterest’s new algorithms. (I am waaaay past high school, and I am still blaming algorithms for my problems, ha!) I still think that Pinterest is the best site for pooling inspiration. And I am with you on bringing it back to its glory! How do we do that?

    Also, I really loved your family-friendly Mardi Gras post! I did not know that one existed. That was super helpful.

    Happy Hygge-ing this Sunday!

    • Wow! Ginni what a wonderful comment. I’m so glad you loved the quote- it’s been my motto for a while now. And YES. I am going to write a post soon about how I’m trying to MPGA! I’ll let you know how it goes. 🙂

  5. Good luck Beth! It’s really very inspiring that with a classy and deep feeling word, you have planned to continue your 2018. Words have very special places in our life. I think all may agree with it that, as an echo words have some impact on our lives.

  6. I love this! Thanks for explaining hygge-I’ve seen it all over the place but wasn’t super clear on what it meant. I’m totally love the idea of living a life you don’t need to take a vacation from. ❤️❤️❤️ AND, I’m all for MPGA!!
    Thanks
    Brandi

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