We are coming up on the one-year mark from when I remember hearing the term “shelter in place” for the first time. We were told to stay at home for a few weeks to do our part to help flatten the curve. Those few weeks turned into a few months and many of us had to adjust to working at home for the unforeseeable future.
Along with the challenges of these new stay at home orders came some amazing benefits – more time at home with family enjoying life’s simple pleasures. We traded in our shoes for slippers and our casualwear for loungewear. Instead of eight straight hours at a desk, we could curl up in our favorite spot on the couch. Little did we know by doing these things we were practicing the art of HYGGE hyg·ge (/ˈh(y)o͞oɡə,ˈho͝oɡə/). HYGGE is a mood defined by coziness, comfort and the feeling of contentment. It is regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture – no wonder that Danish people are some of the happiest people on the planet!
This coming Sunday is National Hygge Day and I’d like to offer some tips on how to celebrate from a free handbook we created together with Castello Cheese and Caroline Fleming, Danish entrepreneur, Baroness, and chef. If you download, you can also get a coupon for some great Castello Havarti cheese to make delish creations or enjoy on its own!
Setting a tranquil atmosphere is essential for hygge, and it all starts with lighting. You can instantly transform any room into a hygge oasis by lighting candles or positioning lamps to create soft pools of light.
Getting cozy is what hygge is all about. Opt for casual, comfortable clothing and snuggle up with a nice blanket in your favorite chair or spot on the couch.
In a world that revolves around technology, it can be difficult to disconnect. Challenge yourself to put your phone away for one hour a day and enjoy a conversation with your loved ones at home or simply flip through a magazine or a book.
Treat yourself to your favorite sweet or savory comfort foods – especially the decadence of cheese, which is known for boosting serotonin!
Take the time to appreciate the memories being made with your family at home or make it a practice to write down three things you’re grateful for each day.
To achieve that much-needed quality time, consider picking up the phone to converse and laugh with friends and family. Whether you’re in person or miles away, catching up with friends and family adds to happiness – the true essence of hygge.
At a time when comfort is needed more than ever, I am comforted knowing I have worked at a place for the past two decades that continues to feel like family and home to me!