On Tuesday night, it was raining hard, I’d had a couple of glasses of wine and I was reading in bed under my fairy lights. I was fresh out of a ridiculously elaborate bubble bath, and I was so cosy and warm under the covers under the twinkly lights with the wind whistling past my windows. But it wasn’t happening. This wasn’t hygge.
Sometimes I feel like finding out hygge, that intangible feeling you get when everything just feels right, is A Thing, puts pressure on people to experience it. Sometimes people who have just discovered hygge say ‘I’m drinking a cup of coffee in a café, is this hygge?’ or ‘I’m watching a film with my family, is this hygge?’ or ‘I baked bread on Sunday, is this hygge?’. The thing is, none of these activities are intrinsically hyggeligt. But that’s absolutely fine. I very often enjoy these things myself without ever considering hygge. It doesn’t happen all the time, and that isn’t a problem at all.
I firmly believe you can’t force hygge. And why would you want to? It’s such a treat when it happens that I wouldn’t want to fake it. And when I see other people talking about how they hygge, I realise that my hygge is very different. My hygge happens when I’m out walking in the autumn sunshine in that beautiful golden light, or in a pub garden as the sun is setting, or when I cut the first slice of a loaf of bread I just baked. But even then, not always. That doesn’t mean I’m having a bad time. It’s just not hyggeligt. Hygge is the bonus, not the goal, and the less pressure you put on yourself the more likely it is it’ll happen (in my experience).
So today is Sunday, and I’m going to have a long lazy bath, watch a film and bake that loaf of bread. I’ve also just finished working on my tax return, I’m going to package up my phone to send it off for repair (for the second time in a week) and I’m going to sort out some clothes for charity. I may hygge, I may not. But the important thing is that I’m not going to force it, and I won’t be disappointed if it doesn’t happen today.
(PS – Congratulations to Rachael Sexey, the winner of my Hygge Rituals competition. As a thank you for everyone who entered, you can use code HELLOHYGGE30 at checkout for 30% off your purchase at Hygge Rituals).