How to ‘Hygge’: 8 ways to master the Danish art of living cosily

Grab a hot drink

Fika (”to have coffee” - usually with cake) is another Danish word that doesn’t have a direct translation, but it’s definitely something we want to get on board with. There’s no easier way to feel warm and cosy then by clutching a warm cup of coffee, or hot chocolate if you prefer - Hygge is all about small indulgences, after all. [Photo: Pinterest/HotSimpleSweet]

Eat more baked goods

Now for the second course of that Fika. The Danes are pastry pros, but there’s no reason we can’t attempt to rival them in becoming cinnamon bun connoisseurs. Baking your own will also add to that elusive sense of warmth and cosiness. [Photo: Pinterest/CallMeCupcake]

Burn more candles

“No candles, no hygge,” Meik Wiking author of The Little Book Of Hygge writes in his book. Simple. And it makes sense - after a long day in a harshly lit office, curling up by candlelight will make you feel instantly at ease. Pick up plenty of tea lights and light them in clusters for a soft, atmospheric light. [Photo: Pinterest/AtHomeWithAbby]

Layer up

Bare ankles and soggy clothes don’t exactly lend themselves to feeling cosy and content, so do as the Danish do and dress for the weather. This doesn’t mean compromising on style - the Scandinavians are of course, one of the world’s chicest nations, thanks to their love of minimalist, high-quality designs. Layer up those knits and cosy basics whether you’re out and about or snuggling up in bed. Ahhh. [Photo: Pinterest/IfandAny]

Go outside

Hygge isn’t all about curling up on the sofa - balance and a good healthy lifestyle are key. So wrapping up and going for a hearty walk is key, or at least taking those blankets and sheepskins outside for your Fika once in a while. [Photo: Pinterest/CamilleStyles]

Entertain at home more

The Danish are more likely to gather in their Hygge-perfected homes with friends than dine out. Entertaining isn’t about splashing the cash or slaving away on a stressful menu, however, it’s the thought that counts and making guests feel welcome. Grab some candles, flowers and cook a simple, favourite dish. [Photo: Pinterest/TheKitchen]

Turn off the telly and watch the fire instead

Hygge is all about the simple pleasures and avoiding modern stresses and over stimulation, so switch of the tech and turn on the fire instead. In fact, why not go the whole hog and lock away your mobile - maybe just for one night. [Photo: Pinterest/Homedit]

Leave work on time

The Danes are encouraged to leave work on time every day, and women work on average just 35 hours a week. Maximising your work hours and clocking off on the dot will ensure you have more time to spend with your loved ones, or a good book, if you prefer. [Photo: Pinterest/RoseandGold]

Winter in the UK might spell drizzly, pitch black mornings and a general dampening of our spirits. But thanks to our Danish counterparts, the hibernating season is looking up.

Surely you’ve heard of ‘Hygge’ the buzzword sweeping the lifestyle world and promising to transform our winter for the better?

While the phrase is tricky to translate into English, it can loosely defined as a sense of cosiness. It’s all about contentment achieved from small, fulfilling pleasures and quality time with friends and family. And the Danes strive to achieve it all year round.

It’s pronounced “hoo-guh” - a lot like the sound you might make when clearing your throat.

Confusingly it’s an adjective, verb and noun all in one. But put aside your reservations, because considering the Danish are the happiest people in the world, there’s obviously something in it. Especially as a staggering nine new books dedicated to the topic have been released this year (from The Little Book of Hygge to Hygge: The Danish Art of Happiness).

“The rest of the world seems to be slowly waking up to what Danes have been wise to for generations – that having a relaxed, cosy time with friends and family, often with coffee, cake or beer, can be good for the soul,” Helen Russell, author of The Year of Living Danishly: Uncovering the Secrets of the World’s Happiest Country told the BBC.

“Hygge seems to me to be about being kind to yourself – indulging, having a nice time, not punishing or denying yourself anything.”

So how can we achieve this elusive sense of Hygge? Here are 8 simple tips to live more Danishly this winter.