As the end of the year draws near and the vibrant summer days are replaced with the cold darkness of autumn and winter, I always find it a little bit more difficult to maintain a positive outlook on everyday life. This year, in an attempt to immerse myself in (and potentially develop an okay relationship with) autumn, I discovered the notion of ‘hygge’ in The Art of Hygge: How to Bring Danish Cosiness into Your Life.
‘Hygge’ (hue-gah) is a Danish word which has no clear translation into English, but is intrinsic to the Danish way of life. The best explanation of the sentiment that I’ve found describes it as a sense of wellbeing and an enjoyment of life’s simple pleasures. Whether it be the cosy feeling of cocooning in a blanket by the fire in winter, or the overwhelming awe that fills and bubbles over in your chest when you watch a bright sunset paint the sky, these positive and comforting moments are all a step towards the inexpensive happiness of hygge.
“Hygge was never meant to be translated – it was meant to be felt.” – ToveMaren Stakkestad
The Art of Hygge: How to Bring Danish Cosiness into Your Life captures the warming simplicity of hygge perfectly. John Jackson and Elias Larsen have created a collection of small craft projects, recipes and undemanding ideas for everyday activities which are accessible to all. Whist reading through the book, I found myself reaching for a pair of scissors to create a paper snowflake and, around halfway through the process, discovered that I had definitely felt a sense of hygge in the nostalgia of such an effortless but charming craft.
I think that it is important to note that hygge is not something that you need to pay, or strive very hard for. It can be as simple as enjoying a mug of delicious hot chocolate, or as inexpensive as a relaxing walk along a beach. Hygge is there to be felt, by anyone who wishes to open up their heart to it. So, if you’re like me and you’re struggling with the shifting seasons, focus a little more on doing something that will make your soul smile today!