The simple pleasures of hygge

It’s winter. It’s cold. And most of the time I’d much rather be inside.

In the evening, there’s nothing like a steaming cup of hot cocoa, a good book, and my cuddly fleece blanket to keep me warm and comfy. If there’s a fire blazing in the fireplace, that’s all the better. As much as my body dislikes cold weather, I can actually enjoy it under these circumstances.

This is what hygge is all about. Hygge (pronounced HUE-gah or HOO-gah) is a Danish term that is defined as “a quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being,” according to Oxford Dictionaries.

Because Danish winters are long and dark and cold, hygge has become a way of life to sail through the grueling winter season with joy instead of dread.

It’s a lovely lifestyle that we can adopt no matter where we live. And whether you are bringing hygge into your personal life or sharing it with family and friends, it can make the winter months so much more enjoyable.

So how do you hygge? Think lots of candles, flannel pajamas, warm chocolate chip cookies right out of the oven, a pot of stew simmering on the stove, woolen sweaters, and warm fuzzy socks.

But hygge isn’t just about material things that say cozy. It’s also about sharing good times with others that emphasize unity and the pleasure of spending time together.

And it’s about mindfulness when doing your everyday chores. Not just rushing to get them done, but doing things with meaning and purpose.

It’s really all about enjoying life’s simple pleasures.

For my readers in the Southern hemisphere, hygge isn’t just for the winter. Enjoying the simple things in life can be done all year ’round. Picnics in the park, barbecues with the neighbors, lemonade on the patio, flowers from your garden, white linens on the bed…these are all ways to enjoy hygge in the summertime.

What can you do right now to bring more hygge, and more happiness, into your life?