For many years, the Danes have been named the happiest people in the world. In fact, several of the countries in northern Europe stay at the top of the happiness list.
According to many, including this article, hygge is one of the reasons.
So what on earth is hygge, and why should you care?
If you’ve heard of hygge, it probably came with advice to spend more time cuddled up with a cozy blanket in a candlelit room. But to the Danish, it’s more than that.
Hygge is a philosophy; a way of life built around simplicity, time to unwind and slowing down the pace of life.
And simplicity is what this blog is all about.
So how can we take a note from the Danes and incorporate hygge into our lives? Here are 5 things you can do in 5 minutes to unwind and slow down.
- Sit in the silence.
If you are like me, silence is a long-lost friend. Even if I can manage to quiet my surroundings, my thoughts are usually loud. But there is nothing more peaceful than a few minutes of complete quiet.
- Get outside.
Take a short walk outside or just step out into your backyard and soak up the sun for a few minutes. Connecting with nature is good for your body and mind.
- Put your phone on airplane mode.
I find that Sundays are a great day to do this. Spend the distraction-free time doing something like playing games with your family, reading a book or taking a nap.
- Play relaxing music.
Create a playlist of songs that relaxes you. Mine is a Pandora station filled with soundtrack music. It immediately soothes me, especially when I have had a stressful day.
- Be still.
Women are fantastic at completing things and multitasking. It is so hard to turn that off. That’s why we’re starting with just 5 minutes. Stop moving. Stop thinking about your to-do list. Sit down, close your eyes and just be present.
Are you wondering how you’ll find a good time for hygge activities in the middle of your busy, loud life?
Here are three times that it may be easier for you to find quiet:
- Before everyone else is awake or after everyone is in bed.
- On the weekend, especially Sunday, which is typically slower paced than other days of the week.
- In your car, when you are alone. You may be waiting on your kids or just arrive somewhere a couple of minutes early and can make time to unwind.
What do you think about hygge and how differently other cultures live compared to Americans?
I traveled to Europe with my husband on a work trip once and could see a huge difference in their speed of life. They lingered over meals and over conversations.
Something we could definitely benefit from doing.
P.S. If you are a Christian and would like to read how the Bible supports hygge, check out this blog post by Moms Have More Fun.