I’m the type of person who is always on the go. I’m constantly trying to tackle a never-ending to-do list, keep up with classes, shine in my internship, and, oh, have a thing called a “social life” as well (I am a college student, after all). So for me, the words “relaxing” and “weekend” are usually never found in the same sentence.
When I was asked to spend an entire weekend doing exactly that, I wasn’t sure what the outcome would be. The Danish term for this way of living is hygge (pronounced “hoo-ga”) and stresses the idea of slowing down. Although the definition doesn’t have an exact translation to English, just think candles, sweaters, oversize blankets, lots of coffee, and pretty much anything you would describe as cozy. This term is supposedly the reason why Denmark is the happiest country in the world.
So while the rest of my friends were planning what parties they would attend, I decided to dive headfirst into my hygge weekend. Would I be the first person ever to die of boredom? Would I fall madly in love with my couch and never turn back? Only time (and the below recap) would tell…
I spent my evening curled up watching a movie with hot chocolate, a croissant, and a handful of fuzzy blankets. Can’t say I hate it so far as I would definitely take a warm croissant over questionable late night pizza any day. (Fuzzy blankets make the world a better place, might I add. I’m currently curled up in one while I’m writing this.)
I let myself sleep in a little later than normal. Not startled awake by my alarm, I felt refreshed. For brunch, I treated myself to an almond croissant and iced coffee at my favorite bakery/coffee shop. The secret to hygge is not necessary trapping yourself in your house but letting yourself feel cozy wherever you go. Choosing somewhere that’s low-key with a good atmosphere, pretty lighting, and relaxing music didn’t seem like I was breaking any rules.
I spent the bulk of Saturday lounging in leggings and a knit cardigan in my oversize white comforter. I surrounded myself with fuzzy pillows, good books, and candles. I even did a face mask. Having a break to not worry about my to-do list was much needed. As a college student, we put so much time in school, clubs, and work that we don’t give ourselves time to do things we enjoy. It was nice to look through fashion magazines again; I couldn’t tell you the last time I gave myself the time to do so.
I let myself leave my bed to meet up with some friends. Again, I wasn’t breaking any rules; we choose a cozy café to grab some drinks. The live music wasn’t even planned, but the acoustic guitar matched perfectly with the aesthetic I was going for. We ended our night on a rooftop with lights that glistened over our heads. Hygge isn’t always about being alone; it’s the feeling you create. Cooking, going out, and even watching movies is better with friends.
I wasn’t ready for my hygge to end. I spent the morning drinking green tea before enjoying a tasty brunch. Although I have to get back to reality, I’ll take what I learned and make it part of my lifestyle. Although I was skeptical, I definitely have to admit this whole hygge really can change your perspective. Being cozy, comfortable, and happy can make a difference in your life. Noticing little things that you enjoy, like a cup of coffee, the smell of freshly baked bread, a bubble bath, or walking through nature makes you appreciate life that much more.
Hygge can make a positive difference in your life or even just your weekend. You don’t have to dedicate an entire day, instead maybe a few hours. Use this time to curl up and watch a movie, drink some coffee, visit your favorite bakery, read a book, and maybe binge watch a Netflix series. It is certainly what I’ll be doing. Now pass the coffee, please.
What are some ways you like to relax? Let us know in the comments below!
This story was originally published April 21, 2017.