Home is not a place... it's a feeling. That is how I think of hygge - a feeling. I asked my daughter this morning to pronunce Hygge (hoo-ga) ( which roughly translates to "make cozy") and what made her feel cozy? We call blankets in our house "cozies," so for her, curling up in a big soft cozy is what makes her feel cozy. Can't get any more literal there! But then I asked her how we could make our house more hygge.
I have been feeling so over-stimulated lately. I don't know if its having young kids and never being able to sit down for a minute alone, constant screens in my face or just the chaotic nature of our current world - but at the end of the day I have an ocular headache, my limbs are tired and I want to do nothing but curl up in bed and sleep until I feel like evrything has slowed down. You would think in a pandemic world that there would be more of a feeling to get out more and do more loud things since we have been stuck in our homes for so long. But for me, the pandemic has caused so much anxiety and I am constantly soaking up sad and traumatic news that I don't know if my brain can take in much more.
And then I saw the word Hygge and became immediately obsessed (and stared at some more screens) until I purchased The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living by Meik Wiking (see my book review here). I put my phone far to the side and read it - in one evening. I couldn't have resonated more with what it had to say and how I have been feeling.
I am longing to feel cozy, to feel quiet and warm and just that feeling that is so hard to describe. I made a list of things that make me feel hygge:
- Sitting under a clean load of towels fresh from the dryer
- Really hot coffee when its still a little dark out in the morning and its cold and crisp outside.
- Fire in the fire place
- A glass of good wine while cooking a nice dinner
- Candles burning in the kitchen that smell like apple pie
- Sunsets in the evening with my husband after the kids have gone to bed and we don't have to talk
So basically everything autumn and cold - which makes sense because summer is my least favorite season and I could have it be autumn all year long. But how do I take those feelings and incorporate them into a house that is filled with loud children, blocks on the floor, a rambunctious dog and Elsa telling me to "Let it Go"in the background?
What we are doing to make our home more Hygge with kids:
Less screen time
More time spent together without distractions
More fires in the fireplace
Getting up a little earlier to enjoy the quiet with a hot cup of coffee
Getting more warm blankets to pile onto the couch
Creating special moments with the kids that will make them feel Hygge. Like baking cookies together, snuggling together, reading together and spending more time outdoors together.
I remember getting out of bed as a little girl when it was still dark out and my mom was the only one up. She would sit at the dining room table with a small lamp so it was nice and cozy and I would sit on the heat register and pull my nightgown over my knees so it filled with warm air. That memory makes me feel homesick - that has to be Hygge right? I want to incorporate these feelings into my kids so that they look back and have that feeling - the feeling of home.