The Art of Danish Living

Hygge is a way of life in Denmark, here are a few hints and tips on how to replicate the Danish lifestyle in your home!

The art of Danish living is a lifestyle that many in the UK are trying to achieve due to the nation being frequently voted the happiest country on earth. To understand a little more about why the Danish are so happy and how you can take some simple Danish traits and add them into your life here are 6 reasons taken from ‘The Little Book of Hygge’ written by Meik Wiking (The Danish bible on happiness)

1, Togetherness and Trust

Studies show that 79% of Danes trust ‘most people’ and this is shown in the way they treat each other. It is said that people in Denmark are happy to let their babies sleep outside in a pram while the parents go into a restaurant or café! All of this trust ads up and contributes to the fact that Denmark is the least corrupt country in the EU.

2, Food!

Eat well, live well? In Wiking’s book he suggests that the high level of meat, confectionary and coffee consumed all contributes to Hygge. “Hygge is about being kind to yourself, giving yourself a treat”, this is true as the average Dane eats 3kg of bacon a year!

3, Home

The Danes are famous for their design and the home should reflect this. Wiking says that the home is “Hygge headquarters” and there are lots of things that the home needs to become your hygge centre, like candles, cushions and the need for more sleep!

4, Christmas

Christmas is the ultimate Hygge time of the year! Christmas traditions in Denmark are not that dissimilar to those in the UK or US, but they do plan everything a bit more down to the final detail!

5, Lighting

The Happiness Research Institute’s studies show that 85% of people associate hygge with candles; 28% of Danes light candles every day! Denmark already is a country obsessed with lighting so adding candles to any home is an obvious choice for the Danes..

6, Welfare

The welfare model in Denmark is a key underlying factor into people’s happiness and Wiking says there is “wide support for the welfare state.” Taxes in Denmark are very high (around 50%) but they receive social security, universal healthcare and a universal pension in return!

Hygge - 'A concept, originating in Denmark, of creating cosy and convivial atmospheres that promote wellbeing'

Hygge was mentioned a few times above, but what is it? Well The dictionary definition of hygge is ‘A concept, originating in Denmark, of creating cosy and convivial atmospheres that promote wellbeing’. However, it basically means cosy, the idea of being cosy by the fire with a book and a glass of mulled wine.

The art of getting more hygge into your life consists of so many factors, some being physical things like candles and making your home cosier. But it’s not just about the things or the setting; the definition of hygge mostly entails a mind-set. Here are some of the main things you can do to bring a more hygge lifestyle to the UK!

1, Sleep well

Making sure you are refreshed at the start of the day comes from having the best sleep the night before. Having the right duvet, pillows and bedding to support your sleep is vital and is the key to having the perfect Scandi sleep. A helpful trick to having a better sleep is to ditch the devices before bed! A digital detox can refresh your eyes and help you sleep. Try leaving your phone alone 30 mins before bed.

2, Leave work on time

Seems like an easy thing to do but working later than 5:30 in Denmark and the office is a dead. Work at the weekend? Doesn’t exist! The idea is that families have time to play and eat together at the end of the day, every day. Nothing terrible will happen if you actually go home on time…

3, Get outdoors

The Danish cycle, run, swim all year around, come rain or sleet. Using your body not only releases get-happy endorphins, doing it outside reduces stress and boosts wellbeing. It’s an obvious activity to do, but the more you do it, the better you’ll feel!

Even when it’s cold in the winter, get outside and get some fresh air, one of the most obvious reasons for seasonal affective disorder is a lack of vitamin D, so if you can get some daylight hours, get outside.

4, Make your home beautiful

Danes have the upmost respect for design, which is why they’re so good at it! The home being the centre of hygge has already been previously mentioned, so if it’s important in Denmark so why not replicate that attitude in your home? Keep it comfy with fluffy pillows, soft blankets, rugs and lamps for mood lighting.

Turns out a pretty home is a good step towards a happy home

Hygge is an interesting concept that can be achieved with just a few simple things but remember Hygge isn’t just for the winter! It can be achieved all year round! What do you think about Hygge and the Danish lifestyle?