How do I get to Hygge?

The Danes are Hygge experts but you don’t have to go to Denmark to find it. “Coziness . . . Creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people.” That is how VisitDenmark.com describes the meaning of “Hygge” (HOOguh).

Hygge is a danish word for a lifestyle that some say was derived from the word “hug”.

Hygge is a sense of well being that the Danes have made a part of their culture for more than a century, and the word has finally spread. Hygge is enjoying comfort food, with your favorite beverage, in comfy surroundings with loved ones or friends.

Hygge is a lot easier to achieve than it is to spell. It doesn’t involve extravagant spending, counting calories, dressing up, political debate or strenuous exercise. Where achieving “zen” focuses on finding your inner peace, Hygge is more social and usually involves sharing that sense of well being with others.

Hygge seems to get the most attention when it’s cold outside. But it doesn’t have to be winter to obtain it. Even though winters are long in Northern Europe, Danes make Hygge a part of their life throughout the year. So if you live in a tropical climate like I do, Hygge at some point may involve turning on the AC and a pouring cool drink.

It’s February. So right now, Hygge to me is a bowl of chowder, a loaf of French bread, a cup of tea, a comfy chair, and some good conversation with my daughter. She’s a hoot. What does Hygge mean to you?