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(pronounced hyoo-gah)

The rise of social media connecting our world, beneath the posts of negativity, politics, and natural disasters, is not only able to help friends and family stay connected on opposite ends of the globe, but it’s also constantly introducing us to concepts and philosophies from other cultures. These philosophies shed new light on ways of living and they’re helping us reinvent how we spend our tie.

The art of Feng Shui is becoming more widely understood and implemented (thanks to Mari Kondo), but the “vibe” Feng Shui brings isn’t just limited to decor. The Japanese art of identifying what it is that makes you get up in the morning is ikigai (a reason for being). It’s going after your passion in life. But there’s another “way of living” that’s popularly being incorporated into our daily lives, and it one of my personal favorites, the Danish concept of hygee.

During the autumn and winter months these past couple of years, you have probably heard or seen the phrase “hygge“. It’s becoming more and more popular, and unlike Feng Shui, this is a concept that I can confidently say you have implemented into your life and didn’t even know it. There’s no solid instruction on how to do it, it’s different for everyone, and it’s such an integral part of Danish culture that there is no concrete translation for the word. We can only furnish the philosophy with the best explanation of incorporating being comfortable, cozy, secure content and simple into a space that makes you feel all of these things (and more) at once.

Hygge is much more comforting than figuring out which items spark joy. Hygge is simply the art of living a cozy life. It already sounds lovely, doesn’t it? Imagine in winter on a rainy day, curling up in your favorite blanket or fuzzy sweater, lighting your favorite candle, making a creamy cup of hot cocoa, and reading your favorite book. That wholesome feeling that idea elicits? That is Hygge.

One of my favorite things to do in the winter makes homemade bone broth. There’s something magical about all the bright vegetables in the pot, the warm reminiscent-of-home smell it brings with it. It just makes your house smell cozy and it would inspire me to pull out my knitting needles and start knitting a very lop-sided scarf – but I’d enjoy doing it the entire time. I used to say I enjoyed these things because it was “wholesome AF”. That is what Hygge is, anything that makes you feel wholesome AF.

While Hygge is things like chunky blankets, warm smelling candles, fireplaces, hot cocoa, and homemade crafts and gifts, it also is not a lot of things.

 Hygge is not keeping up with the Joneses and buying the latest fashion and gadgets “just to be with the times.” It isn’t becoming a hibernating bear and not leaving your comfy house all winter (although being in your comfortable space is Hygge). It also isn’t about throwing out belongings to minimize your clutter; it’s going for a walk and enjoying nature, enjoying everything you have and letting everything you have provide you some comfort.