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Find you inner hygge

Hygge – the Danish buzz word on everyone’s lips – equals happiness. The Sybarite explains it all.

Beautiful blondes, 52 weeks of (paid) parental leave, pickled fish, divine pastries, incredible architecture, beautiful universities that are free to attend and a reputation for being the happiest country in the world. Yes – there’s a lot to love about Denmark. But the real reason that we’re all obsessed with the Scandinavian country right can be attributed to something called hygge.

Hard to explain and even harder to pronounce, hygge sounds a bit like hue-ugh, roughly translating to “being cosy and content” and essentially means creating an inviting atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with your nearest and dearest. The warm glow of candlelight? That’s hygge. Spending quality time with family and friends? That’s hygge too. Drinking excellent wine around a table while chatting about the big (and small) issues of the day? Yep – that’s hygge as well.

This winter season, there’s no escaping this Danish trend of satisfying the soul and deriving pleasure from the gentle things in life because a whole host of books on hygge from Danish actress Marie Tourell Søderberg’s Hygge: The Danish Art of Happiness to The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking, CEO of The Happiness Research Institute will be hitting our book shelves.

For good reason: as the nights draw in, we reckon it’s high time that every self respecting Sybarite learnt the Danish art of hygge. Here’s some tips on how you can get that feeling:

* Leave work on time. The words you won’t say on your deathbed are, “If only I had spent more time at the office.”

* Luxuriate in a hot bath – because it’s winter, you work hard and you deserve it.

* Burn some fragrant candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

* Enjoy a glass of wine with dinner – guilt free.

* If the winter weather is getting you down, don’t fret. Cuddle up with your due and read that book that’s been on your bedside table since last Christmas.

* Have a bake off – and then invite your friends over for cake and a cup of tea.

* Tune out from technology! It’s time to put down your smartphone and appreciate what – and who – is around you.

By Kaye Holland

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