Hygge – The Danish art of happiness

Hygge, pronounced “hue-gah”

A friend sent me a link to an article about the Danish philosophy of hygge. Her stepmother is Danish, so perhaps that’s why it caught her eye.

I hadn’t heard of hygge before, although I do remember reading somewhere that the Danes are considered the happiest people on the planet (ignoring Hamlet, of course).

Apparently that’s because of hygge, from which we get the English word “hug”.

Like a hug, hygge is about being cozy, comfy and cuddled. It encompasses home decor, clothing, social interactions and self-care.

After a January filled with below-freezing temperatures, flu and a cold, I understand more than ever how surrounding myself with comfort—warm blankets, hot soup, soft lights and positive messages from friends—can influence mental health.

A publishing boom related to hygge

Somehow I missed that hygge has become a trend over the last year. Multiple articles have been written, including this tongue-in-cheek one from the New Yorker, and several books have been or will be published in the near future.

Below is a selection of the available books. I’d like to get one for myself, and they would probably make good gifts for friends or to keep on hand as a hostess gift.

Punxsutawney Phil (the groundhog) recently forecast 6 more weeks of winter. If the Danes can endure the long, cold, dark Scandinavian winters and still top happiness polls, perhaps we can learn something from them.

Sláinte,

Frugal Nurse

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