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There's more to hygge than candles

This is what it means to me...

What's your hygge?

Ever since I went to Copenhagen two years ago, I've been aware of hygge. I think I read about it in my city guide book (a wallpaper* one - if you've not used them before, you need to let go of the Lonely Planet and move on because they'll change your travels forever) and it really resonated with me.

Since then, Hygge has blown up in the UK and the US and I've read lots of books about how to get hygge, "just like the Danes". Most of these books focus on lighting candles, dimming the lights, drinking hot chocolate, and listening to the sound of a crackling log fire and whilst I agree that scene is pretty's not really the be all and end all. Plus, how much HoCho can one adult drink?

For me, hygge is a feeling of contentment and safety. Don't get me wrong, I have a healthy obsession with candles (when I moved house last year we had a big box specifically for candles and it's a running joke amongst my friends and family that my go-to-gift is a posh scented candle *thanks Jo Malone*) but I truly believe that candles, hot chocolate, and blankets alone will not give you the warm comfortable glow of contentment and the feeling of being safe that is "hygge".

Personally, these are some of my hygge moments:

1. Sometimes on a late Sunday afternoon my husband and I will have a carpet picnic made up of cheeses, fresh bread, chutney, crudités, dips, and red wine. We'll usually watch Antiques Roadshow whilst we're grazing and it's so wonderfully simple that I always feel immediately relaxed afterwards as I sit in cheesy contentment.

2. Facetiming my nieces - I live 100 miles away from them but when we chat on the phone it's like we're in the same room and I always feel like my heart will burst when I talk to them. Plus...when they're brats I can just hang up the phone and let their mum deal with them.

3. Being on the phone to either my mum, sister, or best friend for hours and hours at a time and then when my husband asks me what we talked about for so long I realise that we didn't really chat about anything?!

4. Having dinner and a right good gossip with my girlfriends. CAVEAT: I'm not a gossip but I love to gossip (that's what I tell myself anyway).

5. Walking - not like stompy walking with ruck sacks and wet-weather gear - but just a quick half hour walk in the fresh air gives me clarity and makes me feel good about moving my body. We really need to get a dog so that I can do these walks with purpose, no?

6. Spending one evening a fortnight on my own indulging in beauty treatments; exfoliating, moisturising, face masks, hair masks, erm...depilation, nail painting, and fake tanning - I do these things because I've learned that when I feel like I good on the outside, I feel good on the inside and that's important to my hygge.

So whilst there may be candles, blankets, and HoCho (read: wine) involved in some of those things - they're coincidental and not the be all and end all of feeling true hygge.

Taking the time to appreciate the small things you do - whether that's spending time with friends and family, enjoying a walk in the cool Autumn air, or treating yourself to an evening of doing whatever the bloody hell you want to do with your own time - that's true hygge. Enjoy it!

NB> These aren't my friends but I couldn't find an image of me and my friends all looking great so I googled. #sorrynotsorry

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