The beginning of the year can sometimes feel like a struggle. Cold and damp weather batters against windows as we gaze outside from our places of work, the pleasantries of Christmas and New Year almost forgotten as we wonder when we will ever get a moment to relax and unwind. So much of January and February is about keeping our heads down and working hard, but if we take a moment to ourselves, we can realise the true potential of these colder months.

Many people use the start of a new year as an excuse to change themselves and their surrounds, and while the weather outside is less than pleasant, this can also be used as inspiration. There have been many lifestyle trends from across the world, but in recent years the Scandinavian style of hygge has become hugely popular. Born in colder climes, take inspiration from this warm, loving lifestyle and incorporate it into your daily life and before you know it, you will be feeling as vibrant as ever, despite the rain!

What is Hygge?

A Danish-style thatched house

Pronounced ‘hoo-guh’ or ‘hoo-gah’, hygge is a term predominantly linked with Denmark, but also with Norway. A very broad lifestyle term, hygge generally refers to cosiness and friendliness – making the surroundings of your life warm and pleasant, both through people and belongings. It has been part of the Danish language since as early as the 1800s and was born from an older Norwegian term for well-being. Since its boom over the last few years, the term hygge is widely used across Danish culture, with the country even seeking to give ‘hygge’ UNESCO Heritage Status!

How to use Hygge

One of the great things about hygge, and a key reason for its popularity, is the open-ended nature of the idea. There are no set rules of practices for the hygge lifestyle, with the outcome taking precedent. This way of life is all about finding warmth in your surrounds, and how you achieve it is up to you.

The truth is that many of the things you do already are classed as hygge. Drinking hot chocolate while watching the rain outside is an example of hygge, as is watching TV with slippers and sweatpants. You could even class the classic Sunday roast as a prime example of British hygge – families gathering together to enjoy some comfort food in each other’s company, forgetting about the world outside and just enjoying the company and warmth of the people closest to us.

However, if you are looking for a genuinely Danish hygge, then there are some classic Danish habits synonymous with the practice. Many of these traits are incorporated into home décor, such as the use of candles, blankets and plenty of cushions to make your precious space as cosy as possible. Food and drinks also play a role in hygge, with plenty of warm cups and delicious cakes on the menu for the cold winter months.

The most important and often overlooked part of hygge, though, is our attitudes. The Danish are some of the happiest people in the world, and it’s their hygge interactions with the world around them that plays a critical part in this. Incorporate the Danish lifestyle into your life by making time for your loved ones, even if it is just a small, pleasant conversation with a loved one. Removing ourselves from the modern world of electronics and deadlines for a moment of peace and happiness with those around us, enjoying warm food and a cosy atmosphere together, goes a long way to incorporating the hygge lifestyle.

Experience a Hygge Holiday

A selection of winter blankets and slippers

If you are looking to dive head-first into the world of hygge, then a short winter holiday could be the perfect opportunity to do just that. Check out our selection of locations for glamping South Wales to find the perfect little abode for your hygge break. Invite your loved ones and escape the winter blues with a warm fire, cosy throw and beautiful views of the countryside. Then, use the lessons learned to improve your wellbeing throughout daily life! If you’re interested in taking a short break, why not read our guide to glamping in the winter?

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Glamping Health & Wellbeing