How to Have a Hygge Evening

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Last winter, I read The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living by Meik Wiking, the CEO of The Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen, and immediately became obsessed with hygge. Hygge (pronounced hoo-ga) is hard to translate. I think of it as a combination of coziness and self-care.

Hygge is about an atmosphere and an experience, rather than about things. It is about being with the people we love. A feeling of home. A feeling that we are safe, that we are shielded from the world and allow ourselves to let our guard down. You may be having an endless conversation about the small or big things in life - or just be comfortable in each other’s silent company - or simply just be by yourself enjoying a cup of tea.
— The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living, Meik Wiking
hygge cocoa.jpeg

Those of us with chronic illnesses spend a lot of time at home, and although we may be too sick or in too much pain sometimes to enjoy hygge, I think it’s important to try to have some time where we take care of ourselves. Hygge is a great concept for putting together a relaxing evening. Here are some of my favorite things for a hyggelig evening at home.

A cup of tea or cocoa.

I love Trader Joe’s Harvest Blend Herbal Tea or their Well Rested Herbal Tea. And I don’t think there’s anything more hygge than cocoa with marshmallows.

Something relaxing to watch.

I just watched the show Making It, a crafting competition hosted by Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman. It’s such a fun show and I found it relaxing to watch. If you’re looking for a movie, I recently enjoyed To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before on Netflix.

Something to read.

I recently finished the book Milkman by Anna Burns, about a girl living in Northern Ireland during the Troubles, and it is one of the best books I’ve ever read. Of course, you can also read The Little Book of Hygge while being hygge.

Candles.

According to the book, when Danes are asked what they most associate with hygge, 85 percent mention candles. I’m always a bit afraid I’m going to start a fire (and I don’t think my lease even allows candles in my apartment), but if you want to have a truly hygge evening, light some candles.

It can be hard to take time for ourselves. We may feel guilty or feel like we’re too busy and have too many obligations. But since I’ve been diagnosed with a chronic illness, I’ve come to realize the importance of taking care of myself and taking some time each day to unwind and relax. I love the concept of hygge because it’s all about taking time to be present and comfortable and appreciate what you have. So now it’s time for me to put on a pair of cozy socks, make myself a cup of tea, and read for a bit.