Hygge, Shoulda, Woulda
Move over Konmari, there’s a new happiness concept in town, and it’s WAY more realistic and pragmatic to achieve on top of that.
Hygge (pronounced HUE-GAH) is a single-word idea that encapsulates coziness and well-being contentment while you’re enjoying the simpler things in life. I first learned about this Danish concept from an episode of TV Land’s Younger (if you’ve been sleeping on that show, then WAKE UP). TRUTH BOMB: I’m normally not into hippy-dippy-loosey-goosey-oopsie-whoopsie ideas so I’m actually shocked that I’m so into this. Hygge is actually something that I can get into because it’s not ridiculous and doesn’t require a million extra things.
I work a million hours a week, I never take a moment to myself, so I’m definitely guilty of skipping smelling any roses. People always ask me how I get so much stuff done and the truth is I literally just don’t get any sleep and power through my exhaustion in order to accomplish my ambitions. While that may sound commendable, I’m fully aware that a burnout is right around the corner.
The people of Denmark are known as the “Happiest in the World.” Hygge so important to the confluence of being Danish that the people consider it to be “a defining feature of our cultural identity and an integral part of the national DNA,” according to Meik Wiking, the CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen. “In other words, what freedom is to Americans. . . hygge is to Danes,” he says. In his Hygge opus “The Little Book of Hygge,” there is a national obsession with all things that are cozy. We at TTF are OBSESSED with being cozy ourselves so turns out this idea is a perfect fit.
Here are a few examples of things that can be considered Hygge and then we’ll go over a few ideas how to Hygge your everyday life, like right now. Why so much urgency? Can you honestly tell me that there’s no room for any further happiness in your life? Then keep reading below:
Shoes — Your super uncomfortable heels or a pair of unforgiving pointed toe boots? No hygge. Cozy slip on Uggs, comfy Birkenstocks, even a pair of your favorite white converse are definitely hygge.
Clothes — Those jeans that you make you look great but you can only zip up when you’re sucking it in? Not hygge. Lululemon leggings 24/7? Lulu is perfect for any occasion and are 100% hygge. Make your outfit head-to-toe Lulu while you’re at it. Also try, a cozy sweater, warm socks or a fleece hoodie.
Salad — Boring salad with no dressing for lunch? Not hygge. Boring salad with dressing and a cookie for lunch? Hygge. Make it one big salad that you’re sharing with friends? Extra hygge. Everyone eating salad out of the same giant bowl while you’re gossiping? Super hygge.
Dessert — Bougie cake that you’ve slaved over with a ton of expensive ingredient? Impressive, but not hygge. Family favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe that you make for dessert during a weeknight get together with your favorite people. Hygge-licious. Warning: Hygge people likely eat all the cookie dough out of the same bowl before it even makes to the baking tray, so you’ll likely have to make two batches of cookie dough ahead of time.
TV — Binge watching Netflix by yourself in the dark. Definitely not hygge. If you’re going to watch TV on your own, try to limit yourself to one episode at a time to make television more of an event. Inviting your friends over every week to watch The Bachelor? That’s hygge.
Lighting — Bright fluorescent lights? Opposite of hygge (not to mention unflattering for selfies) Soft recessed lighting, natural light, window light? Hygge overload. Scented candles? Hygge BOMB. Can’t take much more hygge.
While taking time to yourself to read that book you’ve been putting off and drinking cocoa (a hygge FAVORITE drink) can be super hygge. The entire concept of hygge is based on spending quality time with your friends and the people you care about. Try to focus on the simplest things in life that can bring you joy. Instead of dreading that it’s Monday again, try to focus on the idea that a new week brings in so many new possibilities. This positive outlook can be contagious, just try not to get carried away when you get hygge with it.