As September approaches, the desire for Hygge, the Danish word for cozy, content, and comfortable, can feel like an itch you just can’t quite scratch. It’s hard to relax when the heat has you wondering if you’ll ever be comfortable when you are already soaked in sweat just thinking about being outside. But Hygge is more than cozy fireplaces and soft layers. As Hannah Bruneman shares, “To live the hygge way, focus on friendship, wholesomeness, and happiness.” So here are seven ways to explore Summer Hygge.
Sweet drinks in sweet cups.
All those fun drink recipes on Pinterest are ready for their time to shine, whether it’s a raspberry lemonade with fresh basil or pouring Crystal Light powder into a pitcher filled with water. Pull out your favorite mugs and fill them with sweet, light drinks the whole family will love.
Set the mood with lighting.
Tara, a DoD contractor, set up fairy lights throughout her home, so she doesn’t have to have bright LED lights on in the evening. There are alternative light options, from battery-operated candles, night sky projectors, and dimmer switches to help you wind down and snuggle in at the end of a long day.
Summon summer comfort.
Winter comfort may look like enough layers to feel like a parfait, but summer comfort can be eating delicious parfaits. Comfort can be candle smells, a hammock with a linen towel to help prevent sunburn, a soft blanket for picnics, and even water shoes to avoid sharp rocks in the lake.
Deepen your friendship roots.
Big family dinner nights with friends can create lasting bonds throughout the bases and years. Gather the loud three-year-olds, the moody teens, and the introvert spouse and invite two to three other families to bring food to share. Think less, “fancy dinner party” and more “summer nights of whatever gets made gets eaten.” Don’t let perfection get in the way of creating family friendships.
Play in the forest.
Nature has a marvelous way of helping you breathe and reset. Take a mid-day pause to put your feet on the grass or go for a walk with your dog. You don’t have to nap in the woods to reap the benefits of nature, even sitting out in a lawn chair can help you find calm in the hustle and bustle.
What makes you feel content?
Journal about the times you felt a deep exhale in your soul; what were you doing? Can you weave more of it into your days? Perhaps it’s journaling, good hugs from a friend, meditating, or a house that feels tidy. Contentment comes from being present, which you can be with a few deep breaths.
Read a good book.
Michaela, an Air Force spouse, reveals, “One of our practices is to fill a cooler with our favorite refreshing beverages, sit outside in the shade, and read to each other.” Whether you read with another person or by yourself under a tree, reading can take you to new worlds or help you explore your own. Remember, books can look like audiobooks, E-books, graphic novels, and paperback books. Let your curiosity lead you to your next hygge read by asking your local librarian for suggestions.
In whatever ways you explore Summer Hygge, remember there are no wrong ways to do Hygge. Let your heart lead you into your next steps of cozy, calm, contented comfort, and then allow yourself to follow in blissful summer joy.