Winter has arrived in Australia, and with it, a gentle reminder of the impact seasonal changes can have on our wellbeing. Frosty mornings, shorter days and cooler temperatures can be quite a shock to the system, which can affect our happiness and mood.
However the change in season doesn’t have to mean feeling cold and gloomy. It can be a wonderful opportunity to create cosy rituals in your home to enhance your wellbeing and sense of comfort.
The Danish are renowned for being some of the happiest people in the world – yet every year they face long, cold and dark winters. Not only do they embrace the cooler weather, they use it to their advantage.
How do they do it?
This magical quality of contentment (despite the elements) is often attributed to their cultural mindset of hygge.
In this article we will talk about:
What is hygge?
Pronounced “hoo-gah,” this Danish concept roughly translates to a feeling of cosiness and wellbeing, and has been part of Danish culture since the 19th century.
Hygge is a sensory-driven experience, incorporated into the every day. You should taste it, smell it, feel it – be it.
In essence, the Danish achieve a state of hygge through a commitment to making time to slow down, savouring moments, and creating rituals and daily practices that encourage them to be fully present. By embracing hygge, wellness is enhanced from simple pleasures as well as connection with self, and others.
Hygge is a far cry from our usual go-to of hitting the gym or pilates classes for enhanced wellbeing.
What does hygge feel like?
If you’ve ever enjoyed reading a book under a blanket on a rainy day, or slow cooking for a Sunday lunch with friends, you’ve likely experienced the contented feeling of hygge.
Another way of experiencing hygge is doing things that make you feel as happy as you do when you’ve just been warmly hugged by a loved one.
Through investing in simple practices, this may lead to decreased levels of anxiety. By repeating them in our every day, they provide us with greater predictability. This may alleviate the stress caused from changeability in other areas of life, leading to a greater sense of wellbeing.
How to practice hygge
If you want to create the magical feeling of hygge then the most important place to start is checking in with yourself.
To truly embrace hygge, you need to set a little time aside every day for your preferred practices and rituals. In our busy lives, early mornings or evenings may be easier to commit to, with time on weekends offering even more opportunity to connect with self or others.
Importantly, in order to be fully present, hygge requires unplugging from technology. Screens are the antithesis of hygge.
Here are our top tips to get you started on creating your own magical hygge sanctuary at home this winter:
1. Soft candlelight everywhere
Candles are a staple in hygge, adding warmth and ambiance to any space. Scented candles can help promote relaxation as well (we recommend organic or soy).
2. Mountains of blankets, books and board games
When was the last time you got a blanket out of the cupboard and curled up in front of a fire or with a good book? Or, even better with a friend or loved one and a board game? Blankets offer feelings of warmth, safety and comfort and are a simple way to truly indulge in hygge.
3. Tea for one or more
Having your own morning ritual with tea or sharing a pot of tea with others has been used across the world for centuries as a way to create community and slow our pace to truly connect with one another. It is therefore no surprise that integral to the hygge lifestyle is taking the time to drink tea.
Morning or evening rituals at home like brewing a hot pot of tea and sipping it slowly will create authentic opportunities for connection with self, or others.
In addition to the ritual of tea drinking, Danish doctors have been known to recommend “tea and hygge” as a remedy for winter illnesses! It’s not surprising though, as any tea lover can attest to the comfort a warm cup of tea can bring as a holistic experience to rejuvenate the mind, body, and soul. Learn more about our winter wellness tea range here.
4. Tea cups and tea wares to create your daily ritual
It wouldn’t be hygge without pairing your choice of tea with beautiful and minimalist tea wares. With preservation of nature being an important part of hygge culture, why not go for simple and sustainable tea wares that can be used over and over again?
Learn more about our sustainable tea wares collection to enhance your hygge tea rituals.
5. Hot cocoa or cacao anyone?
Getting cosy in your winter woolies and enjoying a warm cup of cocoa is considered quintessential hygge!
Meik Wiking, author and CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen describes his favourite translation of hygge into English as “cocoa by candlelight”.
With such a delicious daily ritual, why not opt for cacao as your hot chocolate of choice? Cacao contains many different vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, that may enhance mood, increase mental clarity and improve energy levels.
Learn more about our award-winning cacao range to create an indulgent and healthy hygge experience in your every day.
6. Indulgent and slow bathing
In our fast paced world, it can seem like quite a luxury when you schedule time out to slow down. The simple act of a warm bath can be an effective way to unwind. Hygge is all about making this time more regularly (not just on special occasions).
If you don’t have a bath, you may wish to consider a footbath as an alternative.
To create an indulgent hygge experience, picture yourself bathing in soft candle light with beautiful bath products. Declutter your bathroom to avoid distractions, and play some gentle music.This combination will warm your body and invigorate your spirit.
Try to choose bath products that are free of harmful chemicals and are organic for your body and the earth. After all, our skin is the largest organ in our body and no one wants to rush their bath time when it comes to hygge.
7. Hygge and sustainability
For hundreds of years, the Denmark economy and society centred around agriculture and fishing. The Danes still feel closely tied to the land and the water around them. This respect for nature is why Denmark is a pioneer in sustainability.
Choosing ethical and sustainable products are very much a part of the hygge cultural mindset. Any products you purchase from Organic Merchant are ethically sourced and organically produced. Read more about our commitment to sustainability.
You and hygge
Are you ready to enhance your wellbeing and get started on your hygge journey?
We hope you’ve found some useful tips in the first of our series exploring this magical mindset. Look out in the coming days for more inspiration on creating your very own hygge rituals.
At Organic Merchant, our purpose is to make you feel well in the every day.