Friday, 21 October 2016

Living The Hygge Life #2

I have found myself trying to make our life more 'Hygge' recently. Trying to really think about creating a cosy home atmosphere is easy as our season changes and it gets cooler. We are all very good at hibernating somewhat so this hasn't been difficult. 
If you are new to this philosophy, Hygge is why it is presumed that the Danes and other Scandinavian countries are so happy. Yep, this conscious choice to make life more Hygge is indeed translated into into making life more cosy. But this is not just cosy as in a blanket, no, this runs much deeper and is almost a soul satisfying act that actually brings about true happiness in life. 
Now I am only learning as I go, picking up and reading from The Little Book Of HyggeHygge: The Danish Art Of Happiness and How To Hygge and using what I know already that makes our life more Hygge or in fact more cosy.

Being more Hygge is simpler than you think. From what I read, I discover more and more that we are not too out of line from how the Danes would describe Hygge, we are already doing so much. Lighting candles, having a fire, creating that comfortable, homely environment is something lots of us would quickly say we do already. And it's true. I think us Brits are great for embracing seasonal change well and I would happily say that I know lots of people who quite simple adore autumn and the beautiful opportunities it brings. Not only is it the chance to embrace the outdoors and explore nature's beauty that it brings, but it is also a time when we begin to create that home warming environment. We quickly get the blankets out on an evening and serve more hot drinks than before. If you are like me you might start baking more and suddenly family meals start to have stews reintroduced. This is all Hygge and those moments when you bake with apples taken from the tree, rather than from the supermarket is a perfect example of the action. That getting close to nature and feeding with its goods is what it's all about. The simplicity in the action from dirt to comfort and all in one day is what would be described as Hygge. It would definitely be my Hygge anyway. And that is another thing that is interesting; we all have our own individual form or variation on Hygge which makes it so personal. For some, an afternoon walk, a meal with friends, playing a musical instrument would all be classed as either Hygging or Hyggelig (by oneself or with something having a hyggelig time). It is just your own way that you make yourself truly happy. You find that thing and you should do it often.

Since my last Living The Hygge Life post I have really been using light at home to create the evening atmosphere I want. I have made a conscious effort to go into the kids' room and draw the curtains and turn on their lamps before they go in there on an evening, I always love walking into a lamp lit bedroom and having the covers ready to jump into. I also think it helps calm them down ready for story time. I have also bought myself some nice wire fairy lights to have on our mantle meaning that on an evening we have one big lamp on and the fairy lights which, as we all know, make everyone happy. 

Our beautiful Stove from Ignite is a new feature since I last wrote and having a roaring fire on an evening has become almost like a religion. We sit around it praising its heat (gosh I'm a hippy) and are really enjoying that kind of cave man ''Man make fire'' syndrome. It is such a wonderful thing to have. 

Also being conscious of seasonal changes and sharing that round the house is making all for that Hygge autumnal atmosphere. 

With half term this coming week, I am now just thinking about getting the kids outside. After reading an extract from How To Hygge, I could feel my heart warming with happiness for the moment the writer experienced and just wanted to end with sharing that with you. I think it really sums up why getting out into nature is important and the beautiful moments we can give to children as parents.

"But just to keep alive is not enough. To live you must have sunshine and freedom, and a little flower to love." Hans Christian Anderson

'Come on,' Papa Johansen said one late May evening, interrupting my mewling about how much I hated revision for exams, 'let's go pick some lillies of the valley.'
Off we went to a nearby woodland, just up the hill from our house in Oslo. It wasn't the most accessible of slopes to pick flowers. I recall clambering my way up from a distant main road, sturdy hiking boots squelching flatulently underfoot as we ventured deeper into the woods, trying not to fall over (a common occurrence  - I am extremely clumsy).
Like any surly, boarderline histrionic teenager facing the battery of exams that week, I was experiencing that crushing sense of impending doom about life, and resented my dad for badgering me into such a frivolous trek into nature. What a waste of time when I could be revising algebra!
Being the diligent forager my father is, he'd sniffed out this woodland a few years previously and every May he would return to pick flowers.
Yet as soon as we saw the thousands of delicate lily of the valley plants, all that exam stress vapourised into thin air. Bright little scented flowers as far as the eye could see, half shaded by the overhanging canopy of trees, the occasional dapple of twilight sunshine to illuminate their long leaves and pretty snowdrop shaped flowers. Dad and I just looked at each other giddy with glee and spent a good half hour picking as many flowers as we could carry. The field was so abundant with them that we could have decorated our entire neighbourhood with lillies and there still would have been plenty left over.'

Could you just imagine? Now that's a Hygge moment!


1 comment

  1. I love it when something happens that just makes me stop and think. Whether it be something I've read or hearing birds outside or a smell just drifting through. And your words have done just that right now. Thank you! I keep forgetting how to pronounce this word but I really agree with the sentiments and philosophy. I too have some pretty little fairy lights across my mantel and left some fairy lights in the hall after last Christmas and every day I really enjoy turning them on as the light fades. I have picked some hydrangea blooms from the garden which are in jam jars around the house and will use them soon to make our Christmas wreath. Oh and the glow of Autumn... doesn't it just make you smile so much! Enjoy all the cosiness and hot chocolates and home baked cookies and apple pies! Margaret, Buckinghamshire.


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