The holiday season is supposed to be one of the most beautiful season of the year, but for many it is stressful. Preparations, deadlines, gift lists and (often far too) high expectations...these are just a few of the reasons why the days before the holidays tend to be hectic.
It is worthwhile taking a look at Denmark. There the people are experts in "hygge" - cosiness.
We have put together our best tips for you, with which you can easily conjure up a little bit of hygge in your life. As a pleasant side effect, you can automatically reduce stress and increase your well-being.
What does hygge mean?
According to the World Happiness Report, Denmark is one of the happiest countries on earth. For a long time, people were wondering why. Maybe the beautiful nature or the free public services? Ever since Meik Wikings bestseller, the whole world has known what the secret behind Danish happiness is: hygge.
Hygge - candles, cosy hours with family and friends or good food. The word, which has its origins in the Norwegian language, translates as cosiness or well-being. Hyggelig refers to everything that is cosy, nice or rustic and contributes to a pleasant atmosphere.
In Denmark the friendly sounding word does not only describe a short state of being, but a way of life.
We'll show you how you can get more hygge in just a few steps.
Candles and ambient light are important components of Hygge. Especially in the dark winter months, when the sun only shines for a few hours a day, you can create a hyggelig mood in no time with tea lights, candles or Christmas lights.
That doesn't cost much, but it has a big effect: Candlelight has a calming effect and quickly puts us in a relaxed state.
The researcher James Coan found out that togetherness has many positive effects on health. He came to the conclusion that wounds heal better and depression is less common when people are in a close relationship.
Not surprisingly, hygge is closely linked to togetherness or community. If we spend time with our loved ones - completely without stress and pressure to perform - it works like therapy.
Our favourite tip for more hygge is therefore: Take time for your family and friends.
Good food and hygge belong together. There is no standard recipe: everything that contributes to a good mood and tastes delicious is suitable.
Combined with enough time, attentiveness and a pleasant environment, hygge practically happens by itself. Of course, it is even better if you combine a good community with good food. That doubles the hygge factor!
For many people, Christmas is one of the most hectic periods of the year. Many projects and tasks have to be completed before the holidays and at the same time the preparations for the festival are in full swing. Not infrequently it becomes a real competition against time - or even worse: against each other.
December is also the darkest and coldest season of the year in our latitudes. During the winter months the body runs on a low flame, one feels tired and exhausted.
Therefore we recommend: Slow down, take it easy and treat yourself to a special break.
Positive thoughts are the prerequisite for a positive hygge atmosphere.
Our tip: Put your smartphone aside more often and try out what happens if you don't read any messages or don't spend your time on social media.
Recent studies suggest that the constant flood of information can lead to addiction and depression. This new phenomenon also has a name: FOMO or Fear of missing out. This fear of missing out can propel us into greater social media usage. In turn, greater engagement with social media can make us feel worse about ourselves and our lives, not better.
Our hygge tip is therefore: Switch your mobile phone to flight mode, play good music and use the holidays for a digital detox.
This is perhaps the most important tip of all: Say goodbye to perfection. Most stress occurs when you set yourself goals that are too high and try to make EVERYTHING perfect.
If you find yourself often comparing yourself with others (whether in everyday situations or in social networks), remember: it is YOUR holiday season.
It doesn't matter if your neighbour has a taller Christmas tree, your friends buy bigger presents, your parents bake even nicer cookies or your colleagues cook a menu with even more courses than you (this is where digital detox comes in!). YOU decide how you want to spend your holidays!
Hygge is not a competition about being "better" or "more effective" than the others. Hygge happens when you and your loved ones feel comfortable - and that's individual for everyone!