Hygge (pronounced hoo-gah) is a Danish term that refers to enjoying life’s simple pleasures, a conscious appreciation and recognition of the present. Used as a noun, verb, and adjective, the Oxford Dictionary describes the word as “a quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being.”
Think: a warm cup of tea on a rainy day or a lavender-scented bubble bath with flickering candles, and Bach playing in the background. The decadent aroma of bread baking in the oven. The feeling you get as you sit by the fire wrapped in a flannel blanket. It’s the intimate gathering of loved ones in a relaxed atmosphere, but also the solace found tucked away in a nook, reading a captivating novel. It’s a state of mindfulness and a lifestyle, a philosophy, and a feeling.
There was a recent surge of U.S. interest in this Scandinavian concept, likely due to the idea that happiness can come from simple and smaller things that money just can’t buy (or at least that’s what the Danes made it seem like). With bustling schedules, mounting stress, and unending work days, us Americans seem to miss out on the small, hygge things that lead to a better quality of life. Instead, we focus on the mundane, the day-to-day, the “essentials.” Hygge gives meaning to those tasks, making them joyful and beautiful in their own regard.
Though hygge is emphasized most during winter months, we can’t help but want to experience it year-round. Here are nine ways to find hygge this summer.