It isn’t any secret that many people find January a hard month. Right after all the festivities and sparkles of Christmas it seems like we come back to earth with a bump. All the decorations are put away, the weather is often cold and bleak while the dark mornings and afternoons can seem imposing. As someone who loves a good cosy night in I try to embrace it all – we can’t change the weather or the dark but we can make the most of being holed up at home.
The Danish concept of hygge is now well known to us Brits; coming straight from a country that has an awfully cold, dark winter yet still rank as one of the happiest nations. So how do we achieve hygge and can we make it our own? I’ve been sent a wonderful little book to help me on my way; A Very British Hygge by Simon Sinclair. It is all about embracing hygge with a British twist. I could honestly quote the whole book to you but this is one of my favourites:
Hygge has been described as ‘the absence of anything annoying or emotionally overwhelming; taking pleasure from the presence of gentle soothing things’.
Finding warmth and joy when it’s miserable outside
It’s not a thing that can be bought or held onto. It’s an approach to life – it’s about creating an atmosphere or environment that promotes warmth, peace, security, togetherness tranquillity and contentment.
Just reading that gives me a hygge feeling. It seems particularly relevant at this time of year to remember that we can enjoy the peace and serenity that comes right after a hectic period. After the excess of the last few weeks I am ready to strip back and enjoy the simple things.
The book has some lovely suggestions for your home. It’s so important to have a nice space to call your own as you spend a lot of time in it during winter. One idea I particularly like is finding somewhere to relax, a little nook in your home which is warm and comfortable. You can fill it with cushions and blankets, a little lamp, candles or sit by a big window when the sun is streaming through. I would read my favourite book, have a hot drink and relax. Making sure your home is warm and secure is important too, have a look at the Everest Hygge Page for even more ideas.
I also love that the book points out that maybe we need to be a little kinder to ourselves in January. As a rule we start off one of the hardest months of the year by putting so much pressure on ourselves to get it all ‘right’; lose weight, get fit, stop drinking, work harder. If anything we should try and start off our year by just simply doing the things which make us happy and see where that takes us. January is the time to be good to yourself! They list a whole load of ideas for Hygge things to do during winter and I could happily do each one – pyjama days, frosty walks, having friends round for a warming meal, stargazing and board games with loved ones. Board games are always a big hit with our boys and perfect for when we can’t get outside.
My favourite suggestion is that you can just create your own British Hygge moment, it may be something you’ve done without even realising. My British Hygge moment is our Sunday evenings. Me and my husband try to clear the decks of all work, we put the boys to bed and eat our tea by candlelight on the sofa. We’ll put on a film we love, one we’ve seen over and over, just because it is comfortable and makes us happy. It’s the perfect way to end the week whilst getting ready for the one ahead. We spend time enjoying each other’s company, we have good food, a nice drink and it is something we both look forward to all week.
What do you think, have the British embraced hygge? It’s definitely something I am going to be enjoying during January.
This is a collaborative post.