The Little Book of Hygge

The Little Book of Hygge

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The Little Book of Hygge

I bought The Little Book of Hygge as a gift this Christmas but ended up reading through most of it myself after giving it to the recipient!  I loved its solid, hardback cover and dinky sizing.  It looks very appealing and would look well on anyone’s coffee table.

The Little Book of Hygge

The Little Book of Hygge

I suppose over the years I’ve been looking to achieve Hygge in my life but I just didn’t know there was a name for it.  There is no one particular definition of what Hygge is but I think one of the best descriptions is ‘cosiness of the soul’.  I feel cosy when I hear rain or thunder outside but I’m curled up reading a book or soaking in a hot bath.  It’s candles and your favourite movie or spending time drinking tea with your friends.

In other words, it’s the simple things that make you more Hygge.  You don’t need to win the lottery or live in a huge house.  The beauty of Hygge is its simplicity and one of the suggestions in the book was to make a Hygge Emergency Kit.  I’m writing this post in January and what better way to boost your spirits than to create your own emergency stash of favourite treats?  Something you can pull out on a dark, winter’s day and dissolve any feelings of woe.

The Little Book of Hygge – What would be in my kit?

  1. Candles

The soft, sultry flicker of a candle flame is almost hypnotic in its ability to transport you somewhere other-worldly.  Simply staring at a candle flame is a form of meditation or mindfulness that keeps you in the moment.  You can zone out from life’s stresses and strains plus the light they cast can be very flattering to a lady’s skin tone should you be sharing your Hygge moment with someone special!

I received some small, Yankee Candle votives at Christmas and one particular favourite was Fresh Cut Roses.  The smell it evoked took me right back to my grandparents’ garden and summer holidays spent in carefree pursuits, one of which was sniffing the large, blousy roses to be found languishing in their borders.

The scientists calls this synesthesia but I just call it Hygge.

  1. Chocolate

There are many reasons why chocolate is fantastic in almost every way possible.  Just a couple of reasons are:  it makes you feel good as it contains phenylethylamine [which is the ‘feel good’ endorphin] and it’s good for your heart.  OK, the scientists are talking about the 70% cocoa solid dark variety but a little of what you fancy really does you good.  You’re not meant to eat masses of it everyday but a treat now and again is a real boost to the spirits.

I have a particular fondness for Cadburys Dairy Milk [cheap, cheerful and never broke the bank!] or some Thorntons for a bit more decadence.  When combined with a cup of strong tea there’s nothing better.

  1. Favourite film

It’s confession time and along with millions of others I have to say that Dirty Dancing really tops the list when it comes to snuggling down on the sofa and dosing yourself up on Hygge.  I’ve lost count how many times I’ve seen it!

Dirty Dancing has featured through many ups and downs in my life.  It was released in the late 1980s at a time when I was still a teenager suffering the sort of angst that all of us go through.  I was Baby ‘carrying the watermelons’, just a little bit awkward and naive.  On the other hand, Johnny, was the confident one we all swooned over as he was just the right side of ‘not too good looking’ but oozing with charisma.

Yes, this film has helped me during exams, my misery at Law College, unrequited love and a whole other series of life’s little downers.  It’s wholesome, yet just a little bit naughty and I never get tired of the dancing.  So, if you’re missing Strictly Come Dancing, I suggest you give it a try.

Failing that, grab your own personal favourite, sit back and enjoy the Hygge.

  1. A warm, furry blanket

Feeling warm and cosy, particularly after a hot bath, is one of my favourite sensations.  Add in a bit of rain pattering against my window and that is pretty close to Hygge heaven for me.

Layering up with your favourite blanket is akin to a baby finding solace in their comforter.  It’s almost womb-like to wrap yourself up and take pleasure in the fact that it is cold and rainy outside.  My particular favourite is a fake fur throw from TK Maxx – the mecca of all things ‘luxury for less’ on the high street – and also known as my second home!

Blankets represent safety, softness and warmth but they’re also a great way to save money too as you can turn down the heating a bit as well.  A win, win all round.

  1. Thick woollen socks

Taking your shoes or boots off after coming in from the cold and slipping your feet into cosy, soft slouchy socks is one of life’s simplest yet greatest pleasures.

I’m a bit of a martyr to my feet and any shoes/boots or whatever [cheap, expensive or somewhere in between] seem to ravage my poor little trotters.  The relief of taking off my shoes feels as if I am discarding the outside and welcoming warmth, relaxation and total foot freedom.  I sometimes like to add a hot water bottle into the mix as well [call me rock ‘n’ roll if you want to] as I love the extra warmth sensation permeating through my socks and adding to the general Hygge-ness of the experience!

  1. A notebook

Writing is one of my greatest loves, having penned both numerous poems and books over the years.  Jotting down ideas and thoughts is something I find incredibly therapeutic and I have always preferred writing in pencil for as long as I can remember.

Losing yourself in your scribblings is one of the best things about being ‘more Hygge’.  You can use your notebook to write down your goals and affirmations:  a bit like writing a letter to the universe in order to manifest your dreams.

Choose something elegant, not just an A4 jotter pad!  You could turn it into a scrapbook of sorts too where you stick gig tickets, photographs and anything else that evokes a lovely memory and makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

  1. Colouring pencils

I have somewhat of an obsession with pencils and stationery in general and just being able to write, doodle or colour in is very soothing.  I haven’t yet resorted to colouring books but just sketching and colouring in shapes or sketches is very satisfying.  It really does help you to cut off any negative feeling and just focus on the moment.  You really get the feeling that you could lose yourself for hours in the childlike pastime of colouring.

There’s definitely a lot to be said for being more childlike: a child never worries that their drawing is never good enough or that they’re colouring outside the lines so why should you?

I stick with good quality coloured pencils because as my grampsy used to say:  If you buy cheap then you buy twice.  Faber Castell is a good choice in my view but adding colour to your life in whatever format is definitely a winner when it comes to Hygge.

  1. A bone china mug and tea

I always think there is something elegant and sophisticated about bone china.  Not only that, but I believe that tea tastes so much better and stays hotter for longer.

English breakfast tea is my favourite and putting something extra special into your Hygge emergency kit would make the occasions that little bit more special.  If you’re really pushing the boat out you could go for loose leaf tea and make your Hygge time a ritualistic tea ceremony.

Sip your tea, read your book and just enjoy that moment of Hygge bliss.

  1. Favourite music

I was devastated to hear that George Michael had died on Christmas Day 2016.  He was, and still is, my favourite artist of all time [with Adam Lambert coming in a very close second].  I’ve always said that if I could only listen to one music artist for the rest of my life then it would have to be George Michael.

Just hearing some of his songs takes me back to a time when I was a very young child and I have fond memories of playing ‘Last Christmas’ on a pretty relentless basis!  Even since those heady Wham days, George Michael always turned out top quality music and lyrics so for me, he will always earn a place in my Hygge emergency kit and my heart for that matter.

I would love to hear what would be in your emergency Hygge kit.  You can leave a comment below!

Here’s to life on your terms,

Rachel a.k.a The Life Hack Tutor

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The Little Book of Hygge

The Little Book of Hygge

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