‘Hygge’ Made Australian
Featured on The Essential Life
The term, Hygge, originates from Denmark, & having grown up in Denmark, what immediately comes to mind for me when asked about what Hygge means, is a feeling more so than something that can be translated directly. For me Hygge incorporates a cold, wet & grey afternoon where everyone is snuggled up inside in front of the fireplace, with a cup of coffee & perhaps a little pastry. This is when the family gets together, the agenda is simply being with loved ones, a moment to reset, relax the monkey mind & just be. Hygge encompasses warmth, snuggling up & filling your soul both from the outside & from within.
Hygge in Australia
In Australia where I’m currently residing, the sentiment of Hygge rarely lends itself to our climate, & if we’re really honest, it doesn’t lend itself to our lifestyle either. We’re too busy rushing & doing, & should we take the time to sit down & relax, we are often distracted by our phones, the TV or something else that draws our minds in & away from our surroundings.
In that sense you can link Hygge to a Mindfulness practice in that you put away your distractions & focus on the here & now. The main difference being that Hygge requires the company of others, someone who’s on the same page of “having a ‘hyggelig’ time”.
Often in Denmark the question is asked in advance; “shall we hygge”, meaning shall we get together, have some tea & stop the clock for an hour or so.
Naturally, Hygge is ingrained in the Danish culture, & it happens spontaneously through the habitual practice, but how can you apply this term in your own life? How can you bring in that northern hemisphere climate, mixed with Scandinavian values into your day-to-day living?
Hygge Every Single Day
In my world we start by rounding up some loved ones to spend time with, someone to connect with on a deeper level, someone who doesn’t push my buttons or otherwise pull me out of a good place. My Feel-Good Crew.
Who have you got in that special corner? Who can you have a really good time with on a deeper level? One where silence doesn’t have to be met with sound, or where conversation has to be about a predetermined ‘comfortable’ range of topics?
Secondly, we set the mood for the get-together by preparing some home baked goodies. Danish pastries are ideal for that authentic feel, or if you’re like me & moving into a more new-age & waistline conscious place, go for your favourite protein balls or raw treats. Again, the aim is to tap into the heartfelt, authentic treats, rather than something wrapped in plastic from the supermarket.
A warm drink also does wonders for the mood, my current favourite is a turmeric latte, but your standard English Breakfast tea or coffee can set the mood just as well. Or if you’re creating Hygge in your backyard on a warm day, a big jug of iced tea or homemade lemonade can certainly also tick the box, as can a big platter of fresh fruit.
What is your favourite treat that you enjoy guilt free & that helps suspend time for an hour or so?
Hygge & Essential Oils
I also love to get my Aromatherapy Diffuser going with some beautiful Essential Oils. I would go for the warm earthy notes from Cedarwood or Arbovitae. Both for their immediate scent, which lend themselves to northern log cabins, but also for their ability to calm the mind & encourage deeper meaningful discussion. I would also add a lighter note like Bergamot or Douglas Fir, again for their calming properties, & also because they remind me of pastry. Apple-pie is the embodiment of Hygge in edible form if you ask me, and Douglas Fir mixed with cinnamon in the diffuser takes me straight to apple pie!
Add to that a couple of candles or other naked flames (safely) & you’ve pretty much nailed Hygge in my book.
The purpose of your Hygge session is not so much to create a smorgasbord of delicious delights, or display your extensive knowledge into the properties of Essential Oils, but to help your guests & yourself enjoy life’s simple pleasures; ground, relax & have a good old heartfelt time in the company of loved ones. Now what could possibly beat that on a Sunday afternoon?
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