What hygge Means
Hygge is a Danish and Norwegian word for coziness. In Norway it is considered a simple word for cozy as it is in Britain and the U.S.. In Denmark however, it is a contentment concept for living, something to strive for that causes happiness. Describing something that is hygge is referred to as being hyggeligt.
When it’s cold and we sit down with a hot beverage and a blanket in front of a fire or candle, that cozy feeling of contentment is hygge. When close friends come over and a spontaneous meal breaks out, that warm feeling of happiness you feel is hygge. If you come home and you smell homemade bread, cookies or cake baking in the oven, that is hygge.
Hygge living is not something you can buy per se but something that develops because of a certain set of events. In a way, it is simply describing happiness.
How to pronounce hygge
How to hygge at work
Hygge at work can be important to employee happiness. Without hygge at work, the workplace can feel cold and stressful contributing to fatigue and decreased productivity. With the addition of a few features, hygge at work can be enjoyed by both employee and employer. Bosses, are you listening?
Workplaces tend to have harsh overhead lighting that lights the whole space. Often times it is fluorescent lighting which has a cold blue hue. Downward lighting such as desk lamps, wall sconces, pendant and recessed lighting which give warm, golden-hued lighting, can be more cozy with variations in light and shadow. Switching out all overhead lighting is not necessary but lamp lighting in workspaces, if practical, can go a long way.
Desk lamps are cozy but natural light is best. Work stations can be moved toward windows where the suns natural properties increase our serotonin levels and improve our mood.
Indoor plants add a natural touch to the workplace that can otherwise feel sterile.
An area set aside from the actual workplace for breaks should include cozy lighting and hot beverages. Comfortable chairs and side tables where employees can commune in a meaningful way can aid in a more convivial workplace, decrease stress and increase productivity (with the help of caffeine from the hot beverages). Also known as fika, the coffee break with friends and coworkers is permission to slow down for a bit and be present. This ritual rejuvenates, especially after lunch.
For individual employees, bringing a homemade cake or loaf of bread to share can lead to hygge.
How to hygge at home
Hygge at home is as simple as creating a cozy area where you can enjoy a book with a blanket and a candle, or share in conversation with your partner or friends over a cup of coffee, tea or a glass of wine.
Creating a dinner party where a group of friends convene at someones house once a month, potluck style, can be hygge.
Hosting a bookclub in your home can be hygge.
How to hygge your Summer
- Baking cookies to bring to the senior center and having lunch with the guests can be hygge.
- Work at a CSA in exchange for a box of vegetables.
- Join a hiking group.
- Make salsa and share with your neighbors.
- Gather your friends and spiff up an elderly relatives yard or volunteer at a soup kitchen.
- Share some homemade lemonade after.
- Gather at a pub for some locally made ale.
How do you hygge?