Hygge in the Summer
Since we’ve all been spending so much time at home, many families are finding ways to bring more coziness and comfort into their everyday surroundings—some are even stringing up holiday lights and bringing out their winter pajamas! To us, it brings to mind the Danish concept of hygge—a practice of bringing warmth and calm into your life, and enjoying the present moment. With our Scandinavian roots, hygge is something we hold dear here at Hanna. And now that we’re home with our families every day, it’s the perfect time to embrace it.
So much of what people associate with hygge is crackling fireplaces, woolly socks, or a mug of hot tea, which may not sound so inviting as we approach warmer months. And while it’s true that part of the reason hygge is so important in Danish culture is that it helps bring light in long, dark winters, the truth is that hygge is much more than a seasonal tradition—it’s a way of life year-round! It’s about taking the time to make everyday moments special. There are many ways to bring some hygge into your life for the whole family, even as we head into summer.
Dining or picnicking outside
Dining al fresco is very hygge, and it’s especially appropriate now that going out to dinner isn’t an option. Whether you set an outdoor table or unfold a simple picnic blanket on the lawn, a family dinner out in the open air transforms an everyday experience into a memorable one—especially if you take a few moments afterward to look at the stars together.
It doesn’t need to be winter to enjoy the magic of lights. String up some twinkly lights in the house or backyard, place candles on the dining table, mantle, or countertops. Even some flameless LED candles create a warm, inviting mood.
Going for walks
Appreciating nature is key to hygge. Especially during quarantine, daily walks in fresh air do wonders for your well-being. Taking a mindful family walk with some deep breaths while paying attention to the trees, flowers, or other elements in your environment is a great way to connect with nature, hygge-style.
Reading a book
Yep, just reading! One element of hygge is taking it slow, so ditch your devices for a bit and try a family reading hour where everyone lounges with an old-fashioned book, outside or inside the house.
Fresh flowers are an instant pick-me-up, for both a room and your mood. Whether picked from the garden or the grocery store, bright blooms are a simple way to bring the outside inside.
Scandinavian cultures are also serious about their fresh summer fruits—especially berries. Making jams, jellies, desserts (like the famous Swedish Strawberry Cake, or even simply topping your morning waffles with some sweet seasonal berries is a delicious and very hygge way for the whole family to enjoy summer.
Family game nights
Games and puzzles bring everyone together, and make for a perfect family activity after dinner or on a slow weekend afternoon. Gather a few different games—including old classics like Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit, or Chinese Checkers—with some snacks and cozy lighting, and you’ve got a simple and very hygge family night.
Family movie nights
Hygge is all about creating a feel-good atmosphere, and what’s more cozy and fun than a family movie night? We love the idea of picking an old classic, popping some popcorn, and relaxing together at the end of the day. Of course, we think it’s even better if everyone’s got their favorite soft cotton PJs on—matching or not.