How to Embrace Hygge Living

The more I learn about hygge, the more I am convinced that I must be Danish!  Most of the elements of hygge living just come naturally for me! Hygge encourages all things cozy, and who doesn’t love that!

What I am becoming aware of is that the more I embrace this concept of coziness, the less I dread those long, dreary winter days that sometimes linger a bit too long!

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If you are not familiar with hygge, here is a quick lesson in this wonderful idea that so many of us are now borrowing from our Danish friends!

Father and daughter reading a story at home

What is hygge?

Wikipedia says that hygge is “a Danish and Norwegian word for a mood of coziness and comfortable conviviality (the quality of being friendly and lively) with feelings of wellness and contentment.”

Other words used to define Hygge are

  • coziness
  • happiness
  • contentedness
  • comfort
  • wellness

If you are like me, the definition alone makes you feel good!  It’s no wonder that the Danes are considered some of the happiest people on earth!

How to Embrace Hygge in Your Home!

There are several elements to hygge that lend themselves to each other.  Each of these naturally leads to the next to make a perfect little plan for happiness!  You probably have many of these things in your home already, and you may even be using them!  However, hygge living is realized in enjoying & appreciating these simple things in life!


Atmosphere is a huge part of hygge, and it starts with lighting! Lamps with soft light, and candles burning both work to help create a more hyggelig (hyggelike) environment. Even twinkle lights (I leave extra Christmas lights up into February)! Fluorescent lights are NOT on the list of must haves for Hygge living!

candles, an element of hygge


Cozy Blankets & Fluffy Pillows are definitely things that contribute to coziness in you home!  If you are like me, you have lots of fuzzy blanket around your home, but in our home, they always end up in one particular little man’s bed!

Hygge Living Tip: Keep a large basket in your living room & fill with fuzzy blanket for anyone that get chilly throughout the day or evening. 

A warm fire (although not possible for everyone) also gives a warm and cozy feeling to a home!  Enjoying a quiet afternoon or evening by the fire when the temperatures are frigid & the weather is gloomy is sure to improve your mood!

Another factor in the atmosphere of hygge living is plants & fresh flowers!  I love both plants & flowers, but I don’t necessarily have a green thumb, so my plants don’t always fare well!  But as far as fresh flowers go, I live by the Emma Goldman Quote,

I’d rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck.

Hygge Living Tip: When the weather is warm, have your kids head out to look for fresh flowers (even wildflowers or greenery) for your home.  Be sure to advise them against picking the neighbors peonies! =)


Quote: I'd rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck. -- Emma Goldman


Clothing is another way I am totally in line with the Danish way of thinking!  Hygge living embraces comfortable clothing!  Yoga pants, cozy sweaters and warm, fuzzy socks all contribute to a feeling of hygge or comfort when at home (or even out!).  This is especially true in the winter, when our fireplace keeps our home warm for the most part, but the periphery of the house sometimes gets a little chilly!  I love cuddling up in my bed with a fuzzy blanket & a warm chunky sweater (& coffee) to enjoy an afternoon movie!

Hygge Living Tip: Make sure each member of your family has warm socks.  Hanna Andersson even sells kids mocassins which are warm socks with a leather bottom.

Woman relaxing at cozy home atmosphere on the bed. Young woman with cup of cocoa or coffee in hands and cookies enjoying comfort. Soft light and comfy lifestyle concept.


My favorite part of most any gathering or night at home is food!  And one of the things to appreciate so much about hygge living is the love of good, comforting food! That doesn’t necessarily mean everything is extremely rich or decadent. For a typical hygge-like feast you will find soups, stews, fondue, and crusty bread.

Although the main course is well rounded, the Danes believe in embracing the pleasure of a rich dessert, and baking is a very hygge thing to do!  So, enjoy that chocolate mousse or warm brownie with ice cream without guilt! It’s the hygge thing to do!

Hygge Living Tip: Serve a well rounded meal like a hearty soup (this is one of my favorites) and then serve a warm dessert with homemade whipped topping or ice cream, hot fudge, nuts, etc on top. 

Warm drinks such as tea & coffee are also an important part of hygge living!  These drinks that warm your insides help you relax & feel cozy (and if you ask me, contented too!).

photo of hygge living meal


This is one part of hygge living that surprises me a little!  I think, in our culture, we tend to feel like when we have guests over, that we need to have a formal spread! It tends to be after the guests are gone that you feel that you can really relax!

A very key part of hygge living is time spent together with friends!  And this time is different than our way of “entertaining”, because it is truly a gathering without any drama. Harmony is encouraged, so there is no talk of politics or other topics that would cause division!

The gatherings are for the purpose of being together and enjoying that time rather than impressing anyone.  Music & games are part of this together time!


Although many of the elements of hygge living may be part of our everyday lives, one of the things that I really notice to be different, is the attitude!  Hygge is very much an act of being present & intentional.  It takes a person who is not distracted to truly enjoy a silent cup of warm coffee (which is different than the coffee that I typically drink while watching TV and scrolling on my phone).

Gratitude is also highly important in hygee living.  It’s difficult to enjoy small pleasures without stopping to be thankful for them!  As a Christian, this is truly important!  We should remember Who is the Giver of all good gifts (big & small)!

I don’t think we are always too far off in our actions, but our mindset is definitely not hygge-like!  We must slow down & embrace the little things.  We have to purposefully enjoy the simple pleasures in life!

Hygge Living Tip: Create one night per week (or at least once per month) that you spend together with your family doing something intentional like playing a game, reading a book, etc.  Stop to reflect on how engaged your children are, laugh at the funny things that they say & enjoy the unique stage your family is in.  (It can be easy to want to rush thru the toddler stage to reach a time that they are less needy, but enjoy them… right where they are!).

Learning to Embrace Hygge Living

If we can learn to slow down & enjoy life’s everyday blessings, our lives will be happier just because we realize how many wonderful things that there are in our lives!  I think this is what is called “stopping to smell the roses”!

In the past few years, we have heard the work intentional A LOT!  But I think being intentional or going thru each happening in our lives with purpose, I believe that we would feel more joy & contentment in our everyday!



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