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Practicing Hygge

HYGGE: a Danish word for a cozy and comfortable mood created by enjoying the simple things in life. It derives from the Old Norse word for well-being.

During these days of a frightening epidemic, the people of my state have been ordered to stay at home. Some have difficulty with this, but I like the idea of embracing a hygge lifestyle instead. The Danes have mastered it, and the Norwegians tend to follow it a bit, too.

Between my husband/tech advisor and me, we share a good deal of Norwegian ancestry. Neither of us remembers our grandparents talking about hygge, but this Scandinavian coziness comes naturally to us. It is how we grew up.

We do these things to create our own hygge household:

  1. Wear comfortable clothes. For us, that means jeans, sweaters, and flannel shirts.
  2. Turn on the fireplace and burn candles. With March being the snowiest month in Colorado, we continue to have cold weather even though the calendar tells us it is spring. A fire feels good and the candles add fragrance and a warm glow.
  3. Cook comfort food and bake homemade sweets. We grew up eating casseroles and soups, and now we have plenty of time to pull out the old family recipes. My mom always had a homemade cake or cookies on the counter, and I do, too.
  4. Take long, solitary walks. We try to get some fresh air every day, although it has become a challenge to keep our social distance. Coloradans are outdoorsy, and everyone wants to get out of the house. The local sidewalks and trails are busy.
  5. Equip our favorite armchairs with good books and cozy throw blankets. As avid readers, we spend a lot of time here with the fire and the cookies).

Practicing hygge seems to come naturally to us. Each of these things helps create the hygge atmosphere our ancestors cherished.

When we adopt these understated luxuries in our everyday life, our isolation period becomes something enjoyable instead of an irritant.

 

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