The world seems a bit mad right now, and reading the news makes me sad on many levels. So, all of us, especially people with high sensitivity, need to create a space where we can retreat from the world. Spend the time to make your home the inviting wonderful space you want it to be, a space where you can relax and be content.
You probably have heard about “Hygge” (pronounced “hoo-gah”), it's been all over social media for the past few years, and although it seems like another fashion trend for interior design, it's so much more.
The concept came from Denmark, where they have long, cold winters. They perfected the idea of a cozy, welcoming home, and it's not about being wealthy and having top-of-the-line furnishings. Hygge is a desire to be surrounded by what you love, what makes you feel safe, and a level of comfort that helps you to recharge quickly.
In the Oxford English Dictionary, Hygge refers to “a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being.”
Certain types of home decor come into play when creating the “hygge” feeling in your home; think of soft and cozy blankets or a sofa with plush pillows so comfortable that you sink into it. Include natural elements like wood which give a feeling of warmth.
Unsure how to get there? Think of a cozy cabin, it's snowing outside, and you can see it fall slowly through the window. A wood fire is blazing, and you are sitting on the most comfortable chair in the world, wrapped in a very soft blanket that is beautiful to touch, and drinking hot chocolate with lots of whipped cream.
Doesn't that sound glorious? Now imagine if your whole home felt like that.
Hygge is about being mindful of the small moments in life, appreciating what you have, and finding comfort in the people and things you surround yourself with.
Hygge is Different for Everyone
For some people, Hygge could mean being surrounded by loved ones, cooking together, and chatting about their day. The most important thing is to be present and in the moment.
You'll never get back those few hours that you are with your family, so why not put everything aside, block the madness of the world, and listen? Enjoy every second.
Since this is about getting you into a sense of well-being – what do you love to be surrounded by? Do you love candles or twinkling lights? Do specific colors make you happy? What would bring you to the state of Hygge?
I love books; seeing a wall of books creates a sense of calmness. I made a reading nook with a comfy chair, a big pillow, a soft blanket, and a low table nearby for tea. I usually have books stacked up nearby that I have yet to read.
How to Hygge Your Home
When choosing decor for your home, think about texture, color, feel, and, most importantly, how all of your senses will react to the object. For me, everything should feel soft; I have so many issues with how things feel.
I don't use a top sheet in my bed. Instead, I use this insanely soft Costco blanket; it is luxurious, warm, and insanely cheap.
Add soft pillows and cozy blankets to your sitting room, and remember to keep a muted color palette.
Soft neutral colors are the most calming; my favorite is a white, blue, and gray color called Coastal Fog. Depending on how the light hits it, it looks gray, and other times it looks blue. Choose a neutral color scheme for your home.
Make a fire; there is nothing so lovely as having a fire. If you don't have a fireplace in your home, create one with a small tray of candles that you light all at once. It will give you that same feeling of warmth.
Allow natural light to flow into your home as much as possible; a sunlit room eliminates shadows and feels more welcoming. Choose low furniture allowing more light to flow through your rooms.
Soft lighting will create a lovely atmosphere at night and make your rooms cozy. Consider adding candles or soft twinkle lights, I have both, and I particularly love this led cherry blossom tree that I added to my sitting room.
Being highly sensitive the less you have around you and the more organized it all is; will create a sense of calm. Clutter and being highly sensitive don't go well together.
Whether you own your home, rent, or live with your parents, it doesn't matter; you can create your own spa experience at home. Invest in a super soft, cozy bathrobe and slippers. Buy a wooden bath tray, and choose something simple. Stick with natural materials like wood, don't buy metal.
Light candles around the bathroom. Have hot chocolate, tea, or a glass of wine, whichever makes you feel good. Listen to soft music or read by candlelight and give yourself time to simply be.
Furniture & Fabrics
Rustic and cozy is the way to go. You want your home to be inviting and lived in, not the type with only a sitting room for company and no one is allowed to move the cushions.
Choose furniture low to the ground, as this will create a more streamlined look and make your room look bigger. This will also bring in more light as there won't be any bulky furniture in the way to block it.
Go with warm, natural materials such as wood. If you can't afford to buy new, look at second-hand items you can DIY with your favorite color. I particularly love getting an antique vanity for my bedroom and painting it. It makes it unique when you create something yourself.
Clear a pathway through your home; an unobstructed walkway from one room to another creates a flow throughout the house. This brings us back to minimalism and no clutter.
What Makes You Happy?
At the end of the day, it's essential to keep life simple. Hygge is different for each of us; for highly sensitive people, it will be about appeasing our senses so that we can recharge and rejuvenate. Having a comfortable, cozy place to retreat to for an alone time.
Maybe it's about taking a walk in nature, enjoying the smells of everything around you, seeing beautiful colors, and being present in the moment. If you are happy with that, you are in a state of Hygge.
What's truly important is only to have the people you care about in your life, keep items that make you happy in your home, and only do the pastimes that make you feel good.
There will always be aspects of your life you don't like and can't control, but if you take care of the things you can control, everything will be much easier.
Meik Wiking founded the world's first Happiness Research Institute in 2013 in Copenhagen, Denmark, and is a New York Times and The Times Bestselling author. Meik has been called The Indiana Jones of Smiles and probably the World´s happiest man by The Times.
Besides his work at the Happiness Research Institute, he is a Research Associate for Denmark at the World Database of Happiness and a member of the policy advisory group for the Global Happiness Policy Report.
He is the author of two globally bestselling books, which have sold 2 million copies worldwide: The Little Book of Hygge and The Little Book of Lykke.
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