What the Hoo-ga is Hygge?

It’s on trend, and pronounced Hoo-ga, but what is Hygge all about?

Hygge, is a Danish word loosely translating to “Cosiness”.

The collective meaning of this encompasses warmth, conviviality, kinship, connecting with nature, taking pleasure interacting with natural outdoor activities such as foraging, fishing, or making things, keeping life simple including cooking and decorating with simple materials , and of course being kind to others.

With Denmark being the happiest country in the world, a capital city with more bikes than cars, and close to 50% of their energy coming from the wind, you’ve got to admire and be guided by their way of life. So how can Hygge be carried out in Hythe, and where will it tick the HytheAlive box?

The outdoor gym is the best place to workout for many reasons. We have ample opportunities to connect with nature along our canal and promenade, through walking, running, cycling and scootering for all levels of fitness and ability. There are lovely walks inland too for inspiration and quiet contemplation; Eaton Lands quarry and Brockhill Park are often overlooked for instance, but are actually quite amazing places. Then embrace the weather when the sea is rough. Share your walk with some like-minded friends (a Walking Moai) and factor in tea and home made cake at the end!

Spending time in nature has proven physical and mental benefits. A nordic saying is that ‘It is better to go skiing, and think of God, than go to church and think of sport’. We don’t have skiing opportunities here, but you can go to the beach and skim some pebbles, or comb the tide line and make a collage from your finds – removing some potential “ocean plastic” at the same time, or paint “En plein air” (See your Hythe Life Magazine for more on this). Or just hug a tree. There’s plenty to choose from!

Share the nordic self sufficiency spirit, and learn to make some things like bread, biscuits, home made Christmas or Birthday cards, jam from foraged canal-side fruits.  Make a cake and share a slice with your neighbours. Share a meal at home and enjoy the conviviality that you can’t always get when eating out. Upcycle an old piece of furniture into something new to treasure, maybe in Scandinavian style ( opportunities can often be found in our charity shops.)

Simplifying life into a more thoughtful, creative and nature-centered state will improve your personal resilience and mental wellbeing, while making a worthwhile contribution to your carbon footprint.

After your activity, cozy up with some flickering candles, a nice drink, and reflect on your Hygge achievements….and then share your experiences with a friend.

If you now feel inspired and want to read more, there is a good book called “How to Hygge”, which is available from our library.

If you have done any of these things or more, please share your story with us, and we will publish your experiences, so others may learn and enjoy the fun and personal growth from this activity.