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What is hygge, and how can I embrace it in the COVID era?

What is hygge?

Over the last few years, Midwesterners have sought to embrace the Danish winter lifestyle known as hygge. As we continue to distance socially from others and spend even more time indoors than in winters past, hygge will become a necessity.

Here, we’ll go over everything you need to know about hygge — and how you can incorporate it in your everyday life.

Key Insights

  • Hygge is not just a trend. It’s a way of life that can extend well past the winter months.
  • Danish people are said to be some of the happiest in the world, perhaps due to hygge.
  • Hygge isn’t complicated; it’s about fully enjoying every simple moment. This is good news — it means you can easily tweak your current lifestyle to better reflect the principles of hygge.

What is hygge?

Hygge (pronounced hoo-gah) is the Danish lifestyle of warmth, coziness and simplicity. The Danes believe in discovering happiness in the here and now, by enjoying every moment with good things — and even better people.

Why is hygge perfect for a MN or WI winter?

Rather than withstanding the winter, we can embrace it! Denmark — the country where hygge originates — is notorious for its harsh winters. And yet, the Danish people have found a way to not only survive the season, but also cherish it.

Winter in the Midwest is the perfect time to begin discovering the charm of a hygge lifestyle. Instead of complaining that it’s too cold to do anything, we too can relish the opportunity to stay indoors and focus on the small and meaningful things we enjoy. If you live with others, hygge also recommends that you find ways to enjoy your time with them.

What is hygge? What isn’t hygge?

The good news is that most COVID-safe activities have a little bit of hygge incorporated in them. Here, we’ll share how to stay in bounds on safety while taking up the art of hygge.

Hygge: Calling up an old friend and settling in for a long catch-up session.
Not hygge: Sending a five-paragraph email instead.

Hygge: Baking your grandma’s top-secret shortbread cookies.
Not hygge: Mixing water with a package of brownie mix from a box.

Hygge: Cuddling up on the couch with your household, watching a beloved movie. Or if you live alone, watching a movie on Netflix Party, where you can sync up your watching with a friend in another location.
Not hygge: Half-watching TV while scrolling social media on your mobile device.

Hygge: Filling your home with the warm aroma of holiday-scented candles.
Not hygge: Diffusing aerosol spray throughout the house to “freshen things up.”

Hygge: Putting together a jigsaw puzzle, or filling out a crossword puzzle on paper.
Not hygge: Playing an addictive game on your phone, or filling out a digital crossword.

Hygge: Investing in a few cozy winter scarves and knit sweaters.
Not hygge: Splurging on clothes you don’t need at the mall or big box store.

Hygge: Savoring a cup of hot cocoa for a nighttime treat.
Not hygge: Scarfing down the last batch of holiday cookies before someone else eats them up.

Hygge: Setting a real, crackling fire to keep you warm after the sun goes down.
Not hygge: Cranking the heat up another five degrees.

In short, to truly give in to hygge, it’s important to ditch the screens as much as possible and embrace simplicity and comfort. While alternative activities may be limited this year, we think you may love hygge enough to carry it on in years to come!

Need a home where you can hygge?

Ready to hunker down (and snuggle up) this winter? Or are you planning to move to a warmer climate so you don’t have to break out the wool socks ever again? Whether you’re buying, selling or dreaming, contact Edina Realty to get connected with a REALTOR® who can help you with what’s next.

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