What’s Hygge? How to Love (Tolerate) Winter for Those Who Hate It
Hygge? No, it is not a Scottish dish or the name of a character from Game of Thrones. It is a mindset or way of thinking embraced by people especially in the northern climes of Denmark and Sweden. The best English translation for it is “cozy,” but that does not encompass its full meaning and philosophy.
According to The New Yorker article written by Anna Altman in the December 18, 2016 issue, hygge is–
“…a Danish term defined as “a quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being.” Pronounced “hoo-guh,” the word is said to have no direct translation in English, though “cozy” comes close. It derives from a sixteenth-century Norwegian term, hugga, meaning “to comfort” or “to console,” which is related to the English word “hug.” Associated with relaxation, indulgence, and gratitude, hygge has long been considered a part of the Danish national character.”
People in those Scandinavian climates who have the longest, coldest winters to deal with certainly need survival strategies to get them through until spring. I love the idea of Hygge, which calls on a person to search out what makes them cozy, content, and comforted. Whether it is embracing outdoor sports, learning to cook comfort foods, or inviting friends over for indoor game nights, you have to find something that feeds your soul, fills the creative well, and lifts the spirits.
A Hygge Prep Kit: What’s Your Strategy to Get Through the Dark, Cold Winter Months?
Winter is coming! Anyone who knows me, knows that I am no fan of winter. It’s not just the cold, but rather the long nights and dreary, dark days. I struggle to keep an upbeat attitude. This year I will strive to embrace the Hygge philosophy. As such, one of things I really enjoy is losing myself in a novel. Picture this: sitting by the fire in thermal stretchy pants with a loose waistband, fleece slippers, reading a book that you can’t put down until way past bedtime. Better yet, if you discover an author who has a series of books. My favorite genre is mystery, or any story that hints at mystery, as long as it has terrific characters. What are your favorites?
I think this winter’s Hygge Prep will also entail quality socks for wearing to the barn, an indulgent hand and face moisturizer, and plans to walk my horse through fields of snow in the setting sun. After all, hygge is not things, but rather experiences and feelings. For more tips on things to do in winter to enjoy the season, see A Hygge Winter: How to Enjoy Winter When You Hate It on The Simplicity Habit website.
Falling into Fall: Horse Gods is FREE!
If you want a feel-good horse story, check out the Maryland Equestrian series. The second book, Horse Gods: The Dressage Rider’s Betrayal, is free for a limited time October 20-24. It’s a great series for all ages because it addresses tough issues faced by young women today, but leaves out graphic violence and always provides an upbeat ending. A good cure for the Winter Blues!