Standing in the kitchen, dimly lit by the cooker-hood bulbs, stirring a homemade chilli and breathing in the faint smell of a bonfire through the back door. The radio murmurs; the dulcet tones of Neil Nunes.
A few years ago, this simple Danish word became the latest lifestyle trend. We were sold blankets, slippers and scented-candles galore. But hygge doesn’t need a luxury price-tag; hygge is a feeling.
Hygge is a Feeling
Much like a ritual is a mindful routine, hygge is about taking pleasure in the simple things that make us feel cosy and content. And there are plenty of things we can do to bring a bit more of it into our lives – most of us have already spent the last 6 months in our hyggebuksers (sweatpants) maintaining that ‘top-half-only’ professional look on zoom (don’t pretend you didn’t).
But now, as summer fades to autumn, there is a palpable sense of slowing down. The gathering, storing and hunkering down for winter is still very much part of an agricultural existence; but we all imitate it in our own lives, whether its trawling hedgerows to make sloe gin for Christmas, or stocking up our cupboards with comforting food. We feel it in our bones – the call to hibernate. The approach of shorter days and colder nights can strike fear into the souls of many, but we can find ways to make the coming on of winter, a nourishing experience.
I remember walking around downtown Berlin one October morning, and noticing that in the grey half-light of a cloudy winter day, the windows of the houses were glowing with candlelight. What a difference it made! I had never thought of lighting candles before dusk, but have sworn by it ever since to brighten up a drizzly day.
It’s All About Creating an Atmosphere
It’s all about creating an atmosphere – surrounding yourself with the sounds, sights and smells that help you to feel at peace. For me it is definitely chunky altar candles, Neil Nunes reading the shipping forecast, and the smell of bread baking in the oven. Oh, and socks! Big, old, woolly grandad socks.
A Hug Without Physical Touch
Hygge has often been described as ‘a hug without physical touch’ and I suppose now more than ever, we need to learn to be with, and comfort ourselves. The warm feeling you get from gathering with friends and the warm feeling you get from snuggling up alone, with a great book – it’s all hygge. It’s all about the way these moments make us feel. These seemingly inconsequential moments make up our lives – so let’s not get caught up in winter dread, let’s dive into the season and what it asks of us, right down to our bones.
Why not start with daytime candles? Maybe a log fire? Settle in to some down-to-earth cookery or create a cosy corner for yourself. We’d love to hear what makes you feel hygge. Maybe you have a simple, nourishing recipe to share, or a tip on how to make the perfect hot chocolate?
Comment below or let us know on Instagram. Let’s spread some winter warmth in the Colomba community!