8 ways to get your home hygge ready by eliminating toxins (plus a giveaway!)
Hygge. The word of the year, maybe even the decade. Apparently pronounced "hoo-ga," this Danish concept cannot be translated to a single word or even a phrase. More than anything, hygge refers to a feeling of cosy contentment and well-being through the enjoyment of the simple things in life.
The popularity of hygge, or being content in one’s own company, seems to stem from people’s search for more meaning in their lives. We are all so busy that we forget to schedule me-time. Self-care is the first thing that goes out the window when we are under pressure, and even though it should be the opposite there are no changing old habits. Not easily in any case. With the increase in awareness and popularity of self-care, self-love and other inner-perspectives, we are awarded the chance to glimpse into Danish culture, to hygge in order to recharge and relax, all while staying trendy and relevant.
To the Danes, hygge is not a hobby. It is not something that you do every now and then. It is part of their everyday lives, their culture, their DNA. For them, snuggling under a fluffy blanket with a good book, sipping hot chocolate, is not hygge as we tend to think of – it is merely a normal Wednesday, so part of their everyday lives that they probably struggle to separate what we would deem a “normal activity” from a “hygge activity”. Although they incorporate a few things into their hygge routine, there are no clear-cut guidelines or must-have lists. In winter, they tend to love candles, fireplaces, hot chocolate and blankets, and in summer, picnics, sun-tea and movie nights under the stars. But hygge can also include your favourite (but not socially acceptable) sweatpants, store-bought cookies, ice cream out of the tub, and affordable wine.
Hygge sounds great, and you definitely want to get in on this movement. You want to change your house into a warm and inviting sanctuary perfectly suited to enjoy the simple things in life in. This is a noble quest, and easily pulled off, but if you really want to reap the benefits of hygge you will first have to make sure your house is toxin-free and hygge-ready.
So how would you get your home hygge ready?
There are a few things the Danes would deem crucial. All of these things can be chosen in such a way to eliminate toxins, keep you safe and happy and add to your contentment.
More than half of Danes light a candle daily during autumn and winter. They go through more candles than any other country. When choosing candles to burn in your home, steer clear of any paraffin or synthetically fragranced candles. Rather opt for natural unscented beeswax or soy wax candles as they do not release toxins into the environment.
2. Fresh air
Open your windows and doors to allow fresh air into your home. One of the healthiest things you can do is blow in the fresh air every day to chase out stale air and toxins. Yes, even when it is cold and windy out.
Opt for natural fibres, and wash them often. Blankets and other linen and bedding are the prime habitats for dust mites, a leading cause of allergies. After washing, air your blankets in the sun before packing them away. If you are storing your blankets, do not use moth balls or other chemical-laden and artificial pest repellents. Rather use wood chips, cotton wool or used tea bags sprinkled with essential oils such as lavender, cedarwood, lemon, sandalwood or eucalyptus.
Add more plants into your interior. Plants detoxify the air and increase the volume and quality of oxygen as well as the moisture in the air. Higher levels of moisture help fight off illness while assisting in keeping the humidity at levels that are comfortable. Plants have also been scientifically proven to relieve stress, increase calmness and improve moods. Exactly what you are looking for.
Hygge is synonymous with indulgence. So when you are ready to snuggle up and relax, ensure it is paired with your favourite bowl or plate of food. That can be anything, but the wonder words are slow-cooked, slow-roasted, decadent, indulgent and luxurious. Think a bowl of creamy chocolate oats with nuts, or slow-cooked lamb curry with baby carrots, or triple chocolate cake with good coffee. If you cannot make it yourself, then buy it, but then only from an artisan – no commercially mass-produced food is good enough for this activity!
6. Air freshener
Invest in a diffuser. You can use it to moisturise the air, as well as to diffuse essential oils to freshen the air. Essential oils are natural compounds that will help make your home smell wonderful without contributing to your toxic-load. Some essential oils are perfectly suited for hygge as they promote calm, peace and tranquillity, such as lavender, chamomile, wild orange, geranium, cedarwood, and others. [Giveaway! Win one of our essential oil ceramic burners with 6 essential oil wax melts to help you on your hygge journey. For entries, see below]
As far as possible, opt for natural fibres and materials. For your carpets, go for hemp, wool, bamboo, jute or cotton. Choose hardwood or bamboo floors, solid wood furniture and glass instead of plastic.
Being on your phone is a big hygge no-no. Watching television is acceptable within certain guidelines – watching by yourself, no; watching a movie with a group of friends or your partner, yes. Socialisation is an integral part of hygge, and if you share your screen time with people you love it adds to the cosiness. Just bear in mind, any screen emits blue light which has been proven to interfere with our circadian rhythm so as far as possible, avoid screens, especially just before bedtime.
To me, hygge says “I love being home”. It is that time that I spend doing something I absolutely adore, whether that is cooking a meal for my family, or reading a book, even writing in my journal. Whatever activity allows me to tap into ME, to recharge and refuel. And of course, if I can share it, all the better. But, this will only be possible if my home is clean and toxin-free to start with.
One lucky reader can win one of our essential oil ceramic burners with 6 essential oil wax melts to help you on your hygge journey. All you have to do is:
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Comment below if you are planning on turning your home into a hygge heaven
Winner will be announced on 1 August 2019 via Instagram
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