WORD OF THE MONTH: HYGGE
5 steps to living your most hygge life.
if 2016 was all about Marie Kondo-ing your life (throw away everything that does not “spark joy”; end up with nothing in your house but a Gucci bomber jacket and a paper crane your fifth-grade crush gave you), this year’s big “lifestyle” buzzword is an extension of that... but snugglier and with more hot chocolate. Hygge (pronounced “hoogah”) is a Danish word that has been popping up all over the Internet, most frequently seen hashtagged under a picture of someone’s feet in chunky-knit socks propped in front of a fire. It loosely translates to “luxuriating in being cozy” combined with “cherishing downtime” and a dose of “low-key mindful enjoyment of simple things.” Basically, it’s like a bunch of recent trends (Happiness! Actual Netflix and chilling! Fetishizing all things Scandinavian! Slow living! Hiding from the world because it’s imploding!) rolled into one concept that has for millenniums gotten the Danes through those dark winters. They’re also the happiest people on earth. Here’s how to get in on that bliss:
1GO TO THE SOURCE. Publishing books about the hygge life is turning into a bit of a cottage industry among Danes keen to proselytize. Here are three essential volumes to get you started. Conveniently, reading is a very hygge thing to do. 1. The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking. 2. The Book of Hygge by Louisa Thomsen Brits. 3. Hygge: The Danish Art of Happiness by Marie Tourell Søderberg.
2GET LIT. Do any reading on hygge and candles come up almost instantly. Author Meik Wiking says that 85 percent of Danes name them first when they play hygge-object word association. We recommend this super-cozy scented candle from Foxhound Collection, a small-batch fragrance company in Truro, N.S. ($18, foxhoundcollection.com)
3GATHER THE TROOPS. Yes, you can totally have a hyggelit evening solo in your robe bingeing on Black Mirror, but it’s a feeling best enjoyed with people you love. Bake some cookies together while having a hyggesnak (chit-chat), go on a mulled-wine-fuelled stroll through the woods or watch all the seasons of Gossip Girl while doing facial masks. (We recommend Skyn Iceland.) But whatever your preferred bonding activity, put away the phone and be (you guessed it) present.
4DRESS THE PART. There’s a Danish word specifically for clothing you wear when you’re getting your hygge on ( hyggebusker), so you definitely need some options.
1. Flannel nightshirt, The Sleep Shirt ($327, at intothebedroom.com).
2. Sweatshirt and track pants, Olivia von Halle ($1,425, at NET-A-PORTER. com). 3. Velvet robe, The Sleeper ($425, the-sleeper.com).
5MAKE THINGS MORE HYGGELIT. Add whipped cream to your cocoa, string up some fairy lights or wake up 15 minutes early so you can sit at your kitchen window and watch the sun rise—all simple ways to embrace this lifestyle. We particularly love the idea of imbuing your breakfast with a little hygge by using this
so Scandi Äggcøddler, a genius device that literally “coddles” your morning eggs (plus whatever veg/cheese/meat/spices you want). Just chuck it into boiling water and eight minutes later it presents you with a warm and comforting meal. ($27 each, aggcoddler.com) n