We love the hygge feeling here at Out Of The Box. Pronounced ‘hugga’, meaning ‘to comfort’, hygge is not so much a lifestyle but a feeling. A feeling of contentment, gratitude and gentle joyfulness that is found through small seemingly unimpactful moments.
When we promote a hygge lifestyle, we are talking about adopting certain conditions and ways of living that might promote moments of hygge.
These often arise from welcomed social situations, comfortable surroundings, acts of self-care and gratitude and are often associated with warm blankets, scented candles, open fireplaces, warm drinks and time spent in nature.
Particularly, it has been associated with easing those winter blues. Hence, how hygge has become something we tend to focus on more in winter months. The concept having originated in Denmark, a typically cold country with limited daylight in the winter months may also have a lot to do with it.
However, there is no reason not to practice Hygge in the summer months. In fact, we think it’s essential to hygge your summer and here are a few ideas how:
Hygge In The Summer Sun
Sunlight on the skin is one of the most naturally luxurious sensations and, especially in countries where summer is short, we lap it up. Of course, there are many benefits of exposing our skin to sunlight, predominantly vitamin D. However, in terms of hygge, sunlight on the skin supplies that warm, caressing, comforting feeling that we’re seeking. In hygge terms, sunlight in summer is equivalent to a crackling fire or snuggly blanket in winter.
Unfortunately, this is not a hygge moment you can create, only one you can recognise and take advantage of. So, when the sun is out try to get yourself outside, or at least next to a window, and take some mindful moments to let the sunlight and the sensation it brings, wash over you.
Naturally, we’re advising you to protect your skin with a high SPF but hygge is not about a permanent or prolonged feeling anyway so there's no need to spend hours in direct sunlight. It’s about recognising those moments and embracing their presence.
Flowers In The Home
In the winter, hygge is often created by bringing nature inside during those cold months. We have Christmas trees to keep our connection with the outside living world when we’re spending more time at home and we care for evergreen plants indoors too. Even in summer, we can’t always spend as much time as we’d like outdoors so it’s important to welcome a little of the outside in. Plants in the home are good for well-being and flowers are especially effective because they usually carry an appealing aroma too. The yellows of daffodils in spring and the bright blooms of wildflowers indoors provide beauty, colour and a sense of positivity. Whilst it may not be practical or affordable to have flowers throughout the year, at times when we're working from home or staying indoors due to feeling unwell, a bouquet can lift our mood. Choose locally grown, seasonal flowers to keep it sustainable.
Gardening For Hygge
When we're able to go outside and enjoy the summer, gardening is an activity that can encourage hygge. Yes, it can be hard work but hygge isn’t all about relaxing. Cultivating and taking care of the natural world can help deepen that connection which brings about a feeling of well-being. Being connected to nature can ground us and relieve stress, thereby allowing us to enjoy the experience. Gardening also works well for mindfulness and if you’ve noticed a correlation between hygge and mindfulness then that’s no coincidence. Both are about being present, only mindfulness refers to the practice whilst hygge refers to the feeling of comfort and gratitude. So it’s no wonder that activities that serve as opportunities to practice mindfulness also can spark moments of hygge.
The key to feeling hygge when you garden is taking your time, laying down tools now and then to enjoy the environment, and ensuring you are comfortable as you go. So planting perhaps, rather than pulling up knotweed, is more likely to result in hygge.
Camping And Campfires
Camping is perfect for feelings of hygge in summer. Again, connecting with nature and basking in the warmer weather has a wonderful effect on our well-being but camping is usually also a social experience. Getting together with friends or family to camp in the countryside can be one of the best ways of creating a state of hygge. Try to put away phones and other distractions so you can all give your attention to the present, to each other and to the environment.
Campfires, when the evening draws in and the warmth fades, are ideal for creating the cosiness and comfort epitomised by hygge. The crackle, the colours in the darkness and the warmth bring about a scenario whereby the energy of the campfire somehow creates a calm serenity and feeling of homeliness in the great outdoors.
If you're not kitted out for camping then check out www.tentshare.co.uk where you can hire a tent.
There’s something so special about eating outdoors. Breaking bread with others has always been a way to share not only food but stories and laughter and happiness. A meal with friends is a treasured experience, something we are even willing to sometime pay good money for. The experience of sitting around the same table and enjoying a meal with one another brings about togetherness and kinship which is very pleasant at any time but perhaps even more so when done alfresco in the summertime. Not only do we get to enjoy the company and meal but also the surroundings and fresh air. Aside from those alfresco meals where we get chased around the bbq by wasps, mostly outside eating is a relaxing experience. There's natural gratitude that comes from being outside, even if it’s a paved courtyard or balcony. We breathe better, are less distracted by tasks and to-do lists and, perhaps because we do it less, are better at staying in the present. Much of cultivating, recognising and enjoying states of hygge in summer comes from allowing ourselves to be in the present and limiting distractions. This enables us to look around, appreciate these moments and connect properly with one another.
Why Do We Need Hygge In Summer?
There is something so fleeting in summer that does help us make the most of it. However, that doesn’t mean we don’t sometimes need to create situations in which we are more likely to experience moments of hygge. Just because the weather might be warmer or the days longer, this doesn’t mean we do not need comfort and a little TLC even in the summer. Wellbeing and health must be nurtured at all times, even when seasons help us to feel lighter because it is often the work we put in and the memories we make when the sun is shining, that makes us strong enough to weather any coming storms.
May you have a lovely summer and many moments of hygge.