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An Introduction to Hygge.

Pronounced: hyoo-guh.

Noun: ‘a quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality and engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being (regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture).’

Unless you’ve been living on another planet altogether {which let’s face it, at the moment sounds rather appealing!} then I'm pretty sure that you’ll have heard of the term ‘Hygge.’ And if you haven’t then i can bet that you’ve been unknowingly swept along with all that it means without even realising.

In Ashbridge and Brown we’re forever chatting to you about how much we prefer to embrace the seasons as they come around instead of fighting against them and the whole idea of Hygge fits into that really nicely and ties in with the kind of warm, welcoming and homely feel we hope that we create for you all when you pop in and see us and with a lot of the items we pick to stock in the shop.

Hygge is a Danish term which actually comes from a sixteenth-century Norwegian word ‘Hugga’ which means to comfort or console and is also where the english word ‘hug’ comes from. It’s commonly associated with relaxation, indulgence and gratitude and has long been considered an important part of the Danish culture. It’s important to understand that being ‘Hyggeligt’ doesn’t require any learning or any special ‘things.’ In fact Hygge is not a thing at all and is much better described as a feeling. It doesn’t require any special equipment and you most certainly don’t need to buy things to achieve that feeling. There are no special Hygge food and drink and there isn’t a certain way that your life needs to look to achieve the special feeling of contentedness.

To be Hyggeligt only really requires the ability to move a little slower and to recognise and enjoy the present moment for what it is. The Danish created Hygge because they were trying to survive the cold, dark monotony of winter. They wanted to find moments to celebrate and treasure in between the mundane and harshness that those long, cold months can bring. And that endless-feeling that an often relentless winter can bring, is very easy to relate to.

They created simple rituals to enjoy in amongst those tough times: brewing a favourite tea in a china teapot and taking time to sit and enjoy that moment instead of rushing to fit it in amongst lots of other things. Or stopping to buy fresh flowers on the same day each week and really taking care to arrange them in a vase and put them in a place that they can be appreciated and enjoyed each day. It can be anything at all but it’s more important that it brings YOU joy and contentment in amongst your everyday life. It doesn’t even really need to be only practised in winter, but it just so happens that is the time of year where most of us struggle.

There are a million and one ways you could be a little more 'Hygge' in your everyday life, but we thought we'd share some of our favourites to inspire you...

1. Make an event of bed time. Have a lovely bubble bath with your favourite BATH SOAK. Make sure you’ve got a good book or magazine handy, or a podcast on the go. Light your favourite CANDLE and sit back and relax. When was the last time you did that?!

2. Catch the sunrise. The sun rises and sets each day and most of us barely notice. Wrap up warm in a cosy HAT, stick some GLOVES in your pocket just incase and make sure to pack a HOT drink and set an extra early alarm and get out and watch the sun come up! Drag along a pal, or husband or even just the dog. One of the most lovely ways to start the day. Even if you do come home and jump straight back into your pyjamas!

3. Don’t save things for best! Life’s to short for that! That lovely MUG you were bought that you thought was too lovely to use? Fill it up with a cuppa or hot chocolate and get it used pronto! Where’s the fun in these things gathering dust in a cupboard?!

4. Embrace cosy. We’re big fans of lower and cosy light any day. Light some beautiful DINNER CANDLES at supper time or your favourite SCENTED CANDLE whilst you curl up with a film or book on a miserable evening. Have a re-shuffle of your living area and make sure to dot LAMPS around and about to keep the space warm and inviting. And CUSHIONS and BLANKETS. Well, these things have no limit do they?!? They’re the epitome of cosy!

5. Take care of you and embellish the simple things - that’s what Hygge is all about! Whether that is a treat of some lovely new LOUNGE WEAR, remembering to pop on some nourishing HAND BALM as these colder days creep in or using an EYE MASK to make sure you get your eight hours sleep in each day. Self care is so important and looks different for each and every one of us!

So there you have it. So if you didn’t know, now you definitely know what Hygge is and why it can be so beneficial to us all. The great thing is that it’s something that’s accessible and personal to each and every one of us and is often just about appreciating life often over-looked pleasures and the sorts of things that just get lost in amongst the fast-paced lives most of us now live.

Let us know if you’ve heard of it before and also if it’s something you try to add in to your every day or at least be mindful of. We’d love to know your favourite Hygge things to do…?

And don’t forget to pop over and shop our little Hygee edit HERE where you’ll find our specially curated selection of things we think might help you enjoy your Hygge moments even more!


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