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Have you heard of hygge, the Danish philosophy of happiness?

Have you heard of hygge (pronounced hue-guh), the Danish philosophy of happiness?

There’s no direct translation to English. Roughly, it means a feeling of coziness and contentment. It’s about enjoying the simple things in life and staying cozy. Last week at the library, we learned all about hygge. If you missed the program, don’t worry. There are lots of ways to practice hygge at home.

Lighting a candle, making a big pot of soup, or wrapping yourself in a warm blanket are all hygge. It’s about being comfortable, cozy, and content, which means that even sweatpants are considered hygge!

There are also things that are definitely not hygge. Staring mindlessly at your phone (or any other screen) is not hygge – the philosophy requires you to be intentional about your time. Buying trendy items is not considered hygge – part of the philosophy is about familiarity, and the atmosphere you create, not an excuse to go shopping!

Staying indoors alone is also not considered hygge. A crucial part of the philosophy is togetherness — spending time with family and friends.  In fact — another way to translate hygge is intentional intimacy. This is because an important aspect of hygge is socializing and connecting with others. One great way to bring more of this into your life is to attend a library program! Bring a friend, or just enjoy the community feeling when you arrive.

Essential oils can be powerful if used properly, but they’re also fun! Join us next week on Wednesday, Jan. 16 as two wellness advocates teach you all about how to harness the power of essentials oils, and how to use them safely. The information session will be followed by an optional aromatherapy bracelet making by We Felt That. There are hundreds of beautiful beads to choose from, with a special discounted price of $10 per bracelet. Crafting is a great hygge activity, and even more so if enjoyed with others.

Another upcoming program that will bring a little hygge into your life is our upcoming Soup in a Jar workshop! On Saturday, January 12th, join us at Crystal Ridge again to assemble all the dry ingredients to make a soup. You’ll fill a jar with lentils, rice, and spices, then take the jar home where you can add wet ingredients and heat to make a delicious soup. A warm, hearty soup enjoyed on a cold winter day is a perfect way to practice hygge at home.

If you’d like to do some more reading about hygge, I highly recommend the following books:

The Little Book Of Hygge: Danish Secrets To Happy Living by Meik Wiking

The Book Of Hygge: The Danish Art Of Contentment, Comfort, And Connection by Louisa Thomsen Brits

The Hygge Life: Embracing The Nordic Art Of Coziness Through Recipes, Entertaining, Decorating, Simple Rituals, And Family Traditions by Karl Gíslason Gunnar

Laura Trabucco is the Community Engagement Librarian at Fort Erie Public Library.

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