Hygge (pronounced huy-guh) is a Danish term defined as the quality of coziness and comfort that engenders a feeling of contentment. Who couldn’t use a little contentment and coziness in these modern times? Hygge is a practical way of creating a sanctuary in the middle of the very real world we live in. 

During this chilly time of year, there are so many things to help us create that oasis of cozy calm that is hygge. What comes to mind are warm socks, candles, shearling slippers, lambskin throws, pastries (with cardamom),board games, and a fire in the fireplace. Candles are a vital hygge accessory. Danes burn 13 pounds of candle wax per person, per year, even in classrooms and places of work. Where an American sees a fire hazard, a Dane sees an antidepressant. The Danish word for killjoy or spoilsport is lyseslukker, which literally means, ‘one who puts out the candles.’

What better place to practice the hygge lifestyle outside of Scandinavia than in Marin County which has many hygge attributes? One can be very hyggelig in this woodsy/rustic environment by chopping some wood, taking a muddy hike and then going home to burrow into your hyggekrog or “cozy nook,” wrapped up in a nubby organic blanket, drinking delicious coffee and eating a warm pastry. Turn up the hygge by inviting some friends over for some Rummikub or a knitting circle. Tune into some moody programming like the Danish police procedural “The Killing”, or just put on one of these 8 hour crackling fireplace videos .

You may already be an advanced practitioner. Hygge is fully compatible with your bougie candles, fresh pressed juicing and yoga pants. Hygge is not compatible with any elimination diets such as gluten-free or caffeine free. To kickstart practicing hygge immediately after “Dryuary” try this hygge cocktail recipe.

By creating some simple rituals in your daily life, you can bring your coziness practice to a new level of mastery. It can become a natural extension of your life, helping to bring some sanity and calmness to our otherwise hectic and stressful lives. So go forth and relax. Enjoy life’s simple pleasures - get hygge with it!