“Hygge” is not a new concept to appear in 2021. In fact, the word “hygge” has been used so frequently in recent years that it made it onto the Oxford Dictionaries’ “word of the year” list four years ago. Generally, hygge means an intentional effort at comfort and coziness that leads to well-being and contentment. After a year like 2020, I think we can all agree that it’s time to revive hygge in 2021 for your well-being. Tacoma Boys is here to help you.
Hygge (pronounced “hoo-guh”) is a Danish concept that is fairly tricky to define. In fact, I think those of us who are outside Danish culture might never fully grasp it’s meaning. If you want to do a deep dive into this idea, check out this informative article in the New Yorker. Most of us don’t need persuading that an atmosphere of comfort and health is something we long for, especially as we reset at the beginning of a new year. The good news is that it doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg to achieve a sense of this well-being that the Danes call hygge.
Creating a Cozy Atmosphere
A good question to ask yourself as you work towards creating a space that is a comfort to you is: What causes me to take a deep breath and slow down? Again, this isn’t about getting an expensive sofa or a new area rug. Picking up fresh herbs and making your favorite soup is “hygge.” Pouring a cup of tea with an aroma that makes you savor each sip is also hygge. Inviting a close friend to share life stories with you over a glass of wine and a simple spread of fresh fruit and cheese can also be hygge. To make things simple for you, we’ve come up with three simple ways to hygge-intentional.
3 Simple Ways to Be Intentional
1. Add a Houseplant (or several)
Caring for a live plant can be an enjoyable endeavor or a stressful one, but you won’t know which it is for you unless you give it a shot. For many, the weekly rhythm of watering a plant and checking on it’s growth is a grounding experience. Not only that, indoor plants are natural air purifiers. NASA studies show that houseplants can remove up to 87% or toxins in the air within a 24hr period. Clean air sounds good to us!
Succulents require very little maintenance, which makes them one of the easiest plants to add to your home. The main concern a succulent has is getting ample light. They grow best placed in South-facing windows. If you’re not lucky enough to have a South-facing window, try a succulent with more flexible light needs like an aloe vera. We have a large variety of succulents here at Tacoma Boys, perhaps you’ll find a variety that speaks to you.
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme… or lemon balm, mint, oregano, tarragon, lavender. Why stick with the mainstream varieties? Potted herbs are a great addition to your space. Their aroma can be uplifting, energizing, relaxing, and even inspiring. Herbs are the type of houseplants that beg for you to touch and interact with them, because they engage multiple senses at once. Keep them as permanent residents in your home or just as semi-temporary additions that inspire you to take the time to cook something from scratch. Tacoma Boys can get you set up with soil, plants, pots, and growing advice.
Fresh Cut Flowers
Granted, these aren’t going to purify the air like a potted plant would, but cut flowers can do plenty for lifting your mood. Add a bouquet to your dining table, or get a single bouquet to divide into mini bouquets for multiple areas in your house. Tacoma Boys Markets have beautiful cut flower bouquets at the ready and we won’t be insulted if their beauty inspires you to divide them into mini bouquets. We also have colorful hanging baskets and pouches grown by our dedicated, local partners like the DeGoede Brothers in Sumner, Washington.
2. Add Light & Aroma
Light a Candle
Though winter solstice is behind us and we are gaining a few minutes of light every day, the sun is still setting before 5pm. That means that it’s prime candle lighting season. Beyond adding a feeling of warmth, scented candles can have the same effect as potted herbs in your home: uplifting, energizing, relaxing, and even inspiring.
Don’t toss those orange peels after you’ve devoured the oranges, add them to a stovetop potpourri. Filling your house with aroma can be as simple as adding a few fresh herbs and spices to a pot of water on your stovetop. Want the cozy reminder of Christmastime, add cinnamon sticks, orange peels, and cranberries to the pot. Believe it or not, scent can encourage our well-being. Enjoy blending spices to create your own aromas or check out this blog post to discover some great combinations, then stop by the Tacoma Boys spice section for more inspiration.
3. Warm up from the inside out
As it turns out, the scientific research behind drinking warm beverages doesn’t actually confirm that drinking hot coffee will raise your body temperature, but it does show that it affects our emotions. Unless you’re stuck in the cold and in danger of hypothermia, the main reason you crave a warm beverage is for the warming feeling that it creates. Brewing yourself a cup of hot tea, with the intention of sipping it slowly falls clearly in the category of hygge activities. Take some time to hold a mug full of aromatic tea or coffee and we’re sure you won’t be sorry.
Not all tea drinkers are identical. Some fall firmly into the green tea camp, while others stand by herbal tea. That’s why we have a huge and varied selection of signature tea blends that you won’t find anywhere else. Northwest Rose Garden, Chocolate Macaroon, and Shiro Plum Black, are just a few of the unique teas in our selection. A warm mug of tea is good for your well-being and may be just the thing you need to help you slow down. Enjoy a cup fireside with a good book.
Just like those tea drinkers, coffee lovers have just as varied opinions on the perfect roast. Thankfully, we carry all of your favorite local roasters: Bluebeard Coffee Roasters, Valhalla Coffee Co., Vashon Island Roasterie, Manifesto Coffee, and many others. Come in to pick up your old standby or discover a new favorite.
Slowing Down is the Key
There is no magic formula for creating hygge. The thread that connects all of these “hygge-esque” activities, is the act of slowing down and being deliberate. We can’t think of a better activity for this than making a meal with fresh ingredients and sitting down to share it with someone you love. At the heart of what we do here at Tacoma Boys, is the joy of providing the quality ingredients to allow you to do this. Whether you light a candle, make a meal, or cradle a warm cup of tea in your hands, know that it is our pleasure to serve you as you take steps toward your well-being in 2021.