|The Art of Hygge|
Alternative title: In which I try to understand the concept of Hygge.
Unless you've been living in a cave, you'll probably have heard that the latest lifestyle trend has made it's way here from Denmark and looks set to take over our winter. Hygge, roughly translates as a Danish word for cosiness; frankly, it's all about general well-being. Hygge can refer to those cosy little moments where you're snuggled up in front of the log burner with a hot chocolate and your favourite slippers (or more appropriately, some hand-knitted socks) on, or that sniffly feeling you get after you've been out in the cold to explore the snowy countryside.
I asked Twitter what they thought it meant and here are some of the responses: Cosiness, comfortable warmth; Enjoying life's simple pleasures; Candles, snuggly blankets, mulled wine.
So far, it seems that everyone is pretty much on the same page and a general understanding of Hygge is filtering through to the masses. I can understand how this could be a welcome change in the lifestyle book genre, when the recent past has seen nothing but life overhauls and new clean eating diets every five minutes. I can see why, after a fairly rocky 2016, the UK is ready to embrace this concept. Fathom think there's a little more to it than just cosiness, but we're kind of there.
So, how can you achieve this for your own life? Well, The Art of Hygge is a rather beautiful book full of ideas, from recipes to home decor. It's full of suggestions for your downtime - playing board games with friends and exploring out of doors to embrace nature over the constant buzz of your phone screen - all suggestions which are always welcome in my book. We don't switch off enough lately (I know I mention this a lot!) but it's certainly a surefire way to help your well-being. As someone who has been rather embracing the idea of hibernating lately, if hygge can help persuade me to switch off a little, I'm all for it. Are you in?
Time to string some bunting up in that cave.