HYGGE – HOW IT CAN BE HELPFUL DURING SOCIAL DISTANCING

The best way to start explaining Hygge is through Winnie-the-pooh “you don’t spell it, you feel it”. Regardless of how you spell or pronounce the word Hygge, it is about the atmosphere or experience, rather than about things. It’s about being with the people we love, a feeling of home, feeling we are safe and can let our guard down. Think the feeling of togetherness you may have experienced from our Health and Fitness group or the countless zoom quizzes with friends and family. It’s the feeling of togetherness even though we may still be apart.

WHERE DOES HYGGE COME FROM? 

The first written account of Hygge was in the early 1800’s in Danish, but the word is actually Norwegian in origin. The original word in Norwegian means ‘well-being’, but Hygge may have originated from the word ‘hug’. Did you know the word hug comes from the 1560’s word ‘hugge’ which means ‘to embrace’. The origin of hugge is unknown but might possibly come from the Old Norse ‘hygga’ which means ‘to comfort’, which comes from the word ‘hugr’, meaning ‘mood’. Then hugr comes from the Germanic word ‘hugjan’ which is linked to the Old English word ‘hycgan’, which means ‘to think’. Mood, comfort, well-being, consideration and hug are all words which describe what Hygge is today. 

HYGGE IS ABOUT PEOPLE

Being around other people is a key part of Hygge, but it might also be a key ingredient to happiness. Amongst scientists and researchers, there is an agreement that social relations are essential for people’s happiness. 

You will know you cannot buy happiness, but you can buy a cake  – which is almost the same thing. Hygge is something that should feel good to you, therefore if you want to eat cake, eat some cake. However at the same time, it is important to know when to stop, cake has a fine line of happiness and unhappiness. Bellyache or gaining a few pounds from cake would not be a very Hygge moment.

Here are four inexpensive activities for you to try which will create that Hygge feeling. 

  1. Bust out a board game – We live in a world of Netflix, candy crush and electronic entertainment. Switch out technology to hang out with family or friends.
  2. Play – When we were young we always used to just play. As adults, we become focused on the results of the activity. Work to make money, go to the gym to lose weight. When did you last do something for fun? Listen to music and dance like nobody’s watching, walking the dog – without tracking your walk or enjoying giant Jenga in the garden. 
  3. Make a fire – This is a big part of Hygge. Be it an indoor fire in the winter or a fire pit in the garden during the summer. This one is simply for the togetherness of sitting around the fire, no need to keep the conversation going, just enjoying the sound of the fire. 
  4. Outdoor movies – Many places set these up over the summer. Ok so the sound can be difficult to hear and you may have to sit uncomfortably unless you bought one of those fold out chairs with you. It’s all about friends, food, drink and the chat while you are waiting for the movie to start. 

However, why wait for an event to create a Hygge moment. We have 10 simple steps to allow you to create Hygge anytime during your day:

  1. Atmosphere – Turn down the lights, enjoy the natural light.
  2. Presence – Be here now, turn off your phone – or just put it down.
  3. Pleasure – Coffee, chocolate, cookies, cake – anything that makes you go ‘yum!’ 
  4. Equality – ‘We’ over ‘me’. Share thoughts and airtime with each other. 
  5. Gratitude – Take it in, you never know if this will be the last moment like this or last time you get to see someone for a while.  
  6. Harmony – We already like you. No need to brag about achievements, there is no competition. 
  7. Comfort – Get comfy. Take a break, it’s all about relaxation. Grab a comfy blanket or your favourite sweatpants. 
  8. Truce – No drama. Let’s discuss politics another day, there will always be another day for politics. 
  9. Togetherness – Build relationships & narratives ‘Do you remember the time we …..?’. Celebrate the things you have shared together, the memories and how those memories make you feel. 
  10. Shelter – This is your place of peace and security. Your home is your castle. 

With restrictions easing and spending more time with family and friends we should cherish these times. Try to add some Hygge moments into the mix to create memories while social distancing is still in place. 

Remember Hygge is like a hug without the touching, which is great for the current situation the world is in.

WE’VE CREATED SOME WORKOUT PLANS THAT ARE FREE TO USE, OR YOU CAN TAKE PART IN OUR FACEBOOK LIVE CLASSES. BOTH CAN HELP IMPLEMENT EXERCISE INTO YOUR ROUTINE.