Sunday, 29 January 2017

What I Learned From The Little Book Of Hygge

Hygge is a word that's been throw around quite a lot in the last few months, particularly in the blogosphere. If you've never heard of the concept (pronounced Hoo-ga) before, it originated from Denmark, one of the happiest countries in the world. Whilst it has been translated in many different ways, it is essentially all about creating a cosier, more intimate environment, and better quality of life. After reading a few blog posts, and thinking the whole thing sounded amazing and just what I needed to incorporate into my life, I decided to learn a bit more and treated myself to The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking.

The book itself is beautiful, with lots of stunning photographs. It makes a great little coffee table book. There's a bit of terminology to get your head around at first, but I've found it to be a very interesting and thought provoking read. Here are five of what I believe to be the most important things to take away from reading this book.

1. A work-life balance is so important. In Denmark, practically everyone clocks off from work at 5pm, if not earlier, and that's it, done for the day. These days, with the working culture as it is in the UK, this is a very rare occurrence for a lot of people, and I think many of us could do with re-addressing our work-life balance. For Danes, after 5pm is for quality time spent with loved ones, doing activities they enjoy, or just generally settling down in a cosy environment. If we could do that even just a few times a week, it would make such a difference to our happiness.

2. Good relationships are key. I'm not just talking about being in a relationship with a guy or girl, I'm talking about all of our relationships with friends & family too. Having good quality company to spend our spare time with increases our happiness and, according to research, god quality human relationships are more important for our wellbeing than material needs such as a good income. Socialising is a big part of hygge, especially being able to create happy memories to look back on with people for years to come.

3. Being an introvert can be a good thing. Whilst socialising is important, most Danes believe that the most hygge activities are those that are done with just a small group of people, such as a DVD night or cooking together. So, if like me, you prefer a night with your nearest & dearest rather than a big group of people, this is great for hygge. Though the company of others can be important, it is possible to achieve hygge on your own too, for example snuggling under a blanket with a good book, if you were looking for some peace & quiet!

4. It's good to indulge now & again. I'm talking about food here! So many of us, myself included, spend a lot of our time trying to lead a healthy lifestyle, and whilst that is important, we should also treat ourselves to something a little naughty now and again. Whether that be your favourite chocolate or cake, or making yourself a really hearty evening meal. Indulging in a little of what we fancy now & again is great for hygge, and if done in moderation isn't going to do that much waistline damage in the long run. There's also a few recipes in this book to inspire you, including some yummy looking twistbread.

5. You don't need to splash cash to have a good time. I'm often guilty of cheering myself up with a shopping trip, but some of the most hygge moments the Danes have described are either very cheap or completely free. For example, cooking a good dinner is considered to be much more hygge than going out for a meal. Hygge is all about enjoying the simple pleasures in life, so those activities which cost the least are often the most enjoyable, such as a tv night, a walk/ride in the park, or having a group board game session. Basically the more expensive an activity, the less hygge it is seen to be. In todays society, a lot of these activities tend to get overlooked in favour of something a little more extravagant, but if we were to take part in them, they would still be just as enjoyable.

I'd really recommend giving this book a ready if you're wanting to learn a bit more about hygge, or the idea of living a more simplistic life is appealing to you. If you've read this book already, let me know your thoughts on the concept.


  1. I'm currently listening to this book as an audiobook and it's been the perfect hygge activity! I didn't realise there'd be such nice photos in it though... guess you kind of miss out on those with an audiobook haha. I'm definitely trying to incoporate more hygge moments into my life :)
    Jennifer x
    Ginevrella | Lifestyle Blog

    1. Me too, my life definitely needs more hygge in it x