Olivia Hanna explains how to master the art of Hygge.
As fall ushers in colder weather and darker days, most people are looking forward to cozying up until spring. Students, however, are daunted by a barrage of assignments and the looming reality of winter exams. This means the majority of students tackle stressful college life in cold, hostile, college accommodation - quite the opposite of cozying up for the colder months.
Enter hygge. Chances are you’ve seen this phonetically frightening buzzword on at least one magazine cover in the last few years, but if you haven’t, get ready to have your world rocked. Hygge, pronounced ‘hoogah’, is the encapsulation of the Danish concept of coziness. While hygge isn’t perfectly translatable I’ve boiled it down to five easy steps to cuddle up, destress, and treat yourself, Danish style. Grab your nearest blanket, a cup of tea, and read on.
To get hygge with it you first need a cozy space to curl up in. If you, like your housemates, consider the common area s shared space, then make that your comfort space, If not, retreat to your bedroom (or your half of the bedroom). Adorn your space with fluffy pillows and snuggly blankets. Create a womb-like cave where you feel safe and comfortable. Your hygge corner, or hyggekrog (pronounced ‘hoogacrow’), doesn’t need to look perfectly Instagrammable, as long as you’re happy with it.
The Danes are obsessed with good lighting, to the extent that they’ve revolutionized the lamp and lighting industry. But what they like the most is a good candle. Or two. Or three. Or ten. So pop over to Penney’s and get as many candles as you please (the more the better) and place them in corners of your hyggekrog so they emanate a soft, gentle, warm, light. If you wish, grab a set of fairy lights and string those up as well. The key is having enough to see, but not so much so that it’s jarring.
In order to enjoy your hyggekrog you have to be wearing the right clothes. The recipe to the perfectly hyggelig outfit is as follows: a slightly oversized jumper, warm fleece or flannel pants, a massive scarf, and wool socks or slippers. Most likely you have all of the ingredients at home already to endure the Irish winters, so slap them on and proclaim yourself hyggelig!
If you’re one of the aforementioned people who likes their housemates and/or have lovely friends, consider inviting them into your hyggekrog. Being social is one of the cornerstones of hygge because some of the best, warmest memories, are made with friends. Make sure they’re wearing their hyggelig outfits too and try to keep the conversation light and fun. Hygge is enjoyable and casual so keep to casual conversation, or play a game. Above all, if you’re enjoying hygge with friends, put that phone down! Everyone needs a break from their phone from time to time, so hygge can the perfect excuse for shutting off for a bit.
From my perspective, this is the most important step. Since hygge is about indulging yourself hyggelig snacks and meals are absolute comfort foods. Stew, cakes, tea, cookies, you name it. Hygge is the perfect excuse to dig in to your favorite treats. If you’re a real overachiever, or procrastinator, take it one step further and make your treat. The time making your snack will help destress and get in the hygge zone. But no one will judge if you inhale a packet of Oreos all by yourself.
There’s no right or wrong way to experience hygge. It’s all about being comfortable and feeling warm, safe, and happy. And now you have a great excuse when you’re lying in bed with the lights off and a bag of biscuits; you’re just doing hygge.
Still here? Read next: Working During College - Is It Worth It?