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The Danish concept of hygge is something that I find myself returning to again and again as part of living an intentional life.
I love what hygge is – a feeling of cozy contentment or wellbeing that comes when you appreciate the simple pleasures in your life.
I love the way it sounds – (hue-gah) – though, with my Australian accent I’m not sure I’ll ever pronounce it properly!
And I love what hygge represents – togetherness, simplicity, gratitude, slowing down, and enjoying the moment.
Hygge is all about cherishing time with friends, family, and yourself.
Although it’s wonderful to embrace hygge in the colder months, hygge is not just about snuggling up with hot chocolate and cozy blankets by a fireplace (although, of course, that is lovely). Hygge can, and should, be enjoyed all year round!
The Danes even have seasonal hygge-words that define the different ways of hygg-ing depending upon the time of year:
- Forårshygge – Spring-hygge
- Sommerhygge – Summer-hygge
- Efterårshygge – Autumn-hygge
- Vinterhygge – Winter-hygge
While hygge may not always be easy to explain, you’ll know it when you feel it.
The key is to slow down and savour the moment.
10 ways to experience hygge in the spring and summer
The warmer weather and more hours of daylight mean that getting outside into nature is the perfect way to experience hygge during the spring and summer.
1. Go Camping or to a Cabin
For me, this is the ultimate way to experience hygge during the warmer months.
Whether you’re in a tent or a cabin this type of getaway combines so many things that create a hygge atmosphere:
- time with friends and family
- slowing down
- being surrounded by the sights, smell and feel of nature
- cooking outside
- eating simple, comforting food
- conversations by the fire
- playing board games or cards
2. Go to the beach
There’s nothing like taking deep breaths of fresh sea air, listening to the crash of the waves and feeling the sand between your toes and the warm sun on your skin to help ground you in the present and enjoy the moment.
3. Visit a local farmers market
Food and drink are an integral part of hygge. From taking your time to select ingredients, chatting to the butcher to decide on the right cut of meat, preparing the meal and then eating it, hygge is all about enjoying the process.
Make the most of the delicious fresh fruit and vegetables the warmer months have to offer.
4. Have a BBQ
Whether you BBQ or grill at the beach, on a boat, or in your garden, there’s something special about cooking (and then eating) in the outdoors in the warmer weather, while you chat with friends, cold drink in hand.
5. Go on a picnic
A picnic is a wonderful way to spend unhurried time with friends or family enjoying the outdoors, simple food, and easy conservation. Combine a picnic with a visit to the beach, a swim in the lake or an afternoon fishing.
On a clear night take some blankets outside and spend an evening star-gazing. Look for constellations and shooting stars in the night sky.
7. Bring the outdoors inside with fresh flowers and greenery
Bring home flowers or greenery from your local market, or if you have a green thumb you could grow your own!
8. Read a book outside
Lose yourself in a good book while you’re outside in your garden or at the park enjoying the sunshine. It’s also the perfect excuse to relax and get cozy in a hammock.
9. Watch the sunset
Enjoy the changing colours in the evening sky as the sun sets.
10. Put lights in your garden
String up some outdoor lights in your garden for a cozy glow, or put some candles in jars and enjoy the candle-lit, sparkly atmosphere.
Hygge is a feeling that comes when you slow down, connect with friends and family, feel gratitude and appreciate nature. You can create that feeling at any time of year!
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