How To Do Hygge

With the NIGHTS GETTING SHORTER and the TEMPERATURE DROPPING, we’re getting ready to embrace Hygge with tips from FRANCIS BRENNAN


You might have heard a lot about the Danish concept of ‘hygge’ recently. It’s a term we don’t have in the English language, but the closest thing to it would be ‘cosy’ – a way of looking at life that places value on little things that make life happy. Not money or stuff that we can buy, but rituals and ways of being that are comfy and relaxed and that we share with others. How can you bring the concept into your lives?

Get candles and a soft blanket in lovely Irish muted colours to throw over your knees.

Find a lovely squishy cushion or pillow case that just fits your head to rest on while you are reading your book.

Gather friends or family around the table for an easy supper -no posh dinner party needed – just soup, crusty bread, a big bowl of stew -good Irish food!

Banish the laptop and smartphone for the afternoon. I know, it sounds impossible, but you won’t get that hygge feeling if you’re stuck in front of a computer with a bright light shining in your face.

Sit in front of a warm fire, if you can. If you’re in a bedsit or an apartment, you might not have an open fire, but all you really need is a warm blanket, a hot drink and a book in which to lose yourself.

Wrap up warm and take a walk outside in a park or in the country; just be in nature for a while. You have to do things properly though -no Irish wearing of a T-shirt in December! You need lots of warm layers to get that hygge feeling.

Enjoy the little pleasures of life – a warm bath, a cosy pair of socks, a nice woolly jumper, a hug from a friend – these are simple, don’t have to cost anything and will make us feel better.

Live in the moment. Hygge is all about slowing down, resting and taking stock – what could be nicer in our busy, stressed out world?

Surround yourself with things and people you love. You don’t have to have lots and lots of stuff, just a few things that matter, and the people who matter in your life close by.

Francis Brennan

Check in next week for the fourth part in this weekly series from Francis Brennan …

Excerpted from Francis Brennan’s Book of Household Management, €16.99, published by Gill Books, out now.

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