Episode 24: Hygge Your LifeJun 20, 2023
Hey everyone and welcome back to the Elevate Motherhood podcast!
I’m so glad you’re here! Today’s episode is a fun one! On this podcast we love talking about homemaking and making things special at home. This topic is one along those lines that I loved learning about when I first heard it and I have been wanting to bring it to the podcast for a while!
The worst part of it is that I don’t really know how to pronounce the main word!! I listened to a few pronunciations and apparently it is hu-ga. Okay so you’re like what in the world is hu-ga? Well I’m so excited to tell you. It’s just another way of making our homes more special and our lives more full. First I’m going to explain more about what it means and then we will get to how we can incorporate it more in our homes and our lives.
So hygge is a word in Danish and Norwegian cultures that describes a mood of coziness and comfort, typically informal and at home with family or close friends. similar words mean “protected from the outside world.” Or “comforted”…it is also related to the English word “hug” it means unwinding and taking things slow, having no agenda, celebrating the small joys of life. Other interpretations I found were, intentionally cozy, the art of creating intimacy, or the pursuit of everyday happiness. (Linked article here).
You probably have heard Denmark always mentioned on lists of “world’s happiest countries.” And I thought it was interesting to learn about hygge because it is like a really big deal in their country. It’s not like oh they just thought of it- it’s like they do it well AND it’s like very important to them. Author Meik Wiking said, “what freedom is to Americans, hygge is to Danes.” It’s something that kind of ties them together. They embrace this concept of Hygge as part of their culture and something they incorporate in their regular life.
As I’ve learned about it I do think it would contribute to happiness so I love that and I think we can all take some tips from this!
There is more commercial side of hygge so you may see items that claim they promote hygge and that is most likely to be cozy things like cuddly blankets, flickering candles, soft sweaters. So you CAN buy things that contribute to hygge but it is definitely not a THING it’s more of a feeling and an experience.
Other staples in hygge environments are things like fireplaces, comfort foods, and hot drinks.
It’s worth noting that in Denmark it’s super cold and dark, so a lot of the things we will talk about seem more appropriate for cold dark winter times if you’re listening here in America with me, but there are for sure elements of this that can be applied all year long. Maybe this way of thinking could be even more valuable to consider in the warm summer when we are less apt to be thinking this way.
Hygge reflects values of equality and well-being of everyone. It’s about comfort and familiarity- a sense of belonging and relaxing. So you can’t really just like go somewhere to experience hygge as an outsider or tourist really. The familiarity and comfort feelings are something you’d only really be able to apply for yourself in your regular life.
There are even clothing items that are considered the most hygge-like – there’s actually a word for your favorite comfy pants that you don’t wear out of the house but are just for being cozy at home. Apparently even wearing your hair in a bun is considered hygge. And of course soft socks and sweaters.
Hygge food can be equally about enjoying the process of preparing it as well as actually enjoying the process of eating it. Hearty stews, chili, porridge, baking your favorite cake, sharing these foods with family or close friends. I read that even eating popcorn out of the same bowl is hygge, as opposed to people having their own bowls, it’s that sense of community and shared comfort. I thought that was sweet.
Hygge is also about shelter, being safe from the outside, that’s why some mentioned it’s even more hygge to be inside when there’s a storm outside- it’s that extra feeling of being sheltered. From what I’ve read it sounds like candles or fires are pretty close to essential parts of setting the hygge mood.
It’s more than minimalism, and that’s one of the reasons I wanted to talk about it on this podcast. I do generally recommend decluttering but I don’t really think that we should be minimalists and have completely bare homes. I like hygge for emphasizing keeping things that can be enjoyed and feel special, even if they aren’t like super practical or strictly useful. There’s room for this kind of thing even when we like a simple and organized life. I think we should MAKE room for this kind of thing. But hygge IS simple too. It actually encourages enoying the simple parts of life. I’s just intentionally focused on certain things. Priorities. Feelings. We love this kind of stuff, right?
Okay so how do we do it? I have a list of hygge scenarios so you can like trigger some ideas for yourself. I know I have already mentioned several in this episode but here are some more!
To have more hygge in your life, you could:
Spend an afternoon baking your favorite chocolate cake- enjoying the process of making it
Have a picnic in the park
Invite some close friends over for a backyard dinner party
Have a bonfire on the beach
Set up an outdoor movie night (Linked article here)
Cook your favorite chili and invite your friends over for board games
Light candles and enjoy a cup of tea while reading a book in a cozy nook
Go for a bike ride
Stargaze outside on a blanket
Play and laugh with children
Keep fresh flowers in a vase
Drink hot tea from a special cup
Watch a rainstorm through the window
Share popcorn on the courch
Cuddle up with a cozy blanket by the fireplace
So like a lot of these things we already do, right? Or we HAVE done. Just maybe now that you’ve heard this you’ll be more likely to take a second to soak it all in when it happens. To appreciate the specialness of the moment. And hopefully you’ll put a tiny bit more effort into creating moments like this.
I read a quote online recently and posted about it on Instagram that said “put yourself in the way of beauty.” And that quote reminds me of this whole concept. Just being present with what’s right in front of you, taking the time to notice the little things or actually intentionally planning to enjoy the little things. Now that we are aware of the concept, it will be more easy for us to appreciate it. It’s simple, not overdone, but not stark and empty either.
If you’re listening in real time- it’s summer in America so although we don’t really need blankets and fires in our fireplaces, we can still set up some of these hygge moments for our families and our kids. We can make the everyday stuff seem a little more special. If your kids are older you could tell them about this and ask them what kinds of things make them feel happy and cozy and welcomed and familiar. You could put these things on your bucket list. Make these moments happen. And if you’re listening and it’s cold outside just go get a warm blanket and some soft clothes and scoop your kids up on the couch and put your phone down and watch a movie and just be fully present and enjoy the hygge you have in your own home!
Well that’s all I have for today! I hope you enjoyed learning something new and if you’ve already heard about it I hope you are re-inspired with some new ideas!
Thank you always for listening! Before we go, I’d love to say a little prayer and blessing for you.
Thank you for these listeners. Thank you that they are able to create magical, special, familiar moments for their families and really help us to just soak them all up and receive all we can from those special times. Thank you for the heart behind their actions and let their families feel so loved. Thanks for giving us grace for each day. Thanks for being our source of inspiration and peace and comfort. In your son Jesus’ name, Amen.
If you love the Elevate Motherhood Podcast- have you left a review or shared with your friends? Reviews help other people find this podcast too!
Thanks for being here friends, until next time, let’s Elevate Motherhood.
Elevate Motherhood Home Organization Master Class
Our online course takes you step-by-step and room-by-room to declutter and organize your house, once and for all! It's for regular moms, just like you. As we declutter and organize, we're making more space for what (and who) really matters. Stop wasting your time and invest it! Let's get your house working for YOU!
Get All Things Elevate Motherhood!
Organization tips, positive encouragement, podcast recaps, and Elevate Motherhood exclusives.
Delivered straight to your inbox:
You may unsubscribe at any time.