Winter is wrapping up and most folks are ready to throw their bulky coats in the closet while daydreaming of the balmy breezes ahead. But, in most places, it’s not time for spaghetti straps just yet. So, turn your furnace up, burrow your face in your turtleneck, and prep the hot chocolate — there’s still some chilly weather on the horizon, and we’re getting snug with our favorite winter word, hygge.
WHAT DOES HYGGE MEAN?
Hygge, (pronounced hue-guh), is the Danish word acknowledging the feeling of being cozy and content. Philologist, Walter William Skeat, compares hygge and the English word hug since both are meant to “comfort and secure oneself.” The idea of hygge isn’t something you can buy on Amazon or see on an infomercial. There’s no rule book on how to hygge — it’s more of a realization that you have everything you need to feel safe and fulfilled. It can be easy to miss the magic of the mundane when our modern world is continuously dominated by technology and rushed by daily to-do lists. But, hygge suggests you can find balance in the chaos by pausing to notice the slow moments and letting yourself slow down to meet them.
Meik Wiking, author of The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living and the CEO of Copenhagen’s Happiness Research Institute notes "Hygge has been called everything from 'the art of creating intimacy', 'cosiness of the soul,' and 'the absence of annoyance' to 'taking pleasure in the presence of soothing things'". All of these concepts would undeniably improve our world and make us happier. Perhaps as a result of its habitual hygge, Denmark is celebrated as one of the happiest countries in the world. Their bitter cold winters and at times, 17 hours of darkness, make it amazing the Danes can find the hygge lining at all.
EXPORTING THE CONCEPT OF HYGGE
Other countries are adopting this cozy concept, too. The Scottish Tourist Board boasts the benefits of their Gaelic word for snug on Twitter, #cosagach. Swedes prefer to find their harmony in moderation. They practice the word lagom, meaning ‘to find a balance’. It is taken from the Viking phrase ‘laget om’, or ‘around the team,’ intending that one should be modest when taking a sip of mead so that everyone has enough to drink. Right here in Colorado, we practiced a little lagom ourselves, as we passed around a pot of our Irresistible Inner Glow Tea at the Osmia team meeting. Anna Altman, of the New Yorker, states “Hygge shares lagom’s reverence for measured experience: indulging in a piece of cake, but not outright gluttony; a dinner with friends at home, but nothing fancy.”
No matter where you live, you’re probably looking for ways to bring balance into your life - it seems to be a common theme in our overscheduled lives. Your two weeks of annual vacation are a great time to unwind, but a sprinkling of hygge throughout the other 50 weeks of the year may keep you centered in the meantime. Luckily, you can practice this concept all year, but the transition from winter to spring can have a lingering chill, so it’s a great time to get hyper-hygge. With more than a few cold weeks left on the calendar, Team Osmia wanted to share some favorite ways to hunker down and embrace the change of seasons. Here are some hygge habits from our crew!
"I like to enjoy a cup of Golden Milk and read poetry. Lately, I’ve been reading “Salt” by Nayyirah Waheed."
"The ultimate hygge plan for me involves a cup of tea, a delicious novel, and the perfect playlist. My two favorite teas at the moment are an amazing Moroccan Jasmine Mint and this spicy Turmeric Tonic with a little honey and almond milk. If you need a novel that you can get totally lost in, check out The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey - possibly my favorite novel of the last decade. A couple other favorites are The Brothers K, Take Me With You, and Ahab’s Wife. As for playlists, I made my very own playlist of soul-soothing songs to keep me company as I snuggle in for Hygge Time. If I can talk one or both of my girls into hygge-ing with me, it’s like a hygge sundae with sprinkles on top! Oh, and I put my phone in hygge mode - it stays in another room!"
Embrace your loved ones and the end of winter by practicing hygge tonight. Turn your gadgets off, unpack the knitting needles, and wrap yourself up in a velvety blanket. Rub some of our Sandalwood Ginger Hand Cream on your parched paws or Lavender Body Mousse under your favorite pair of chunky socks! Hibernating is almost over — the hygge doesn't have to be.
With love and a happy hygge day from us to you,