By Jill Kantor & Lisa Kroft, Co-Founders, Hygge in a Box
While we don’t come from Scandinavia, we are Canadians living in Winnipeg, Manitoba, known as one of the coldest provinces – in fact, it’s one of the coldest major cities in North America!
Because of this, we understand what it means to fully enjoy the warmer spring and summer months while we can.
Hygge (hue-gah) is the Danish concept of feeling cozy, content and an everyday togetherness that is often associated with the wintertime. That said, Meik Wiking says in The Little Book of Hygge, “hygge is the pursuit of everyday happiness – and that means summer just as much as winter.” Wiking says you can experience it in the summertime by “making use of the sun and the warmth of nature.”
Hygge is possible any time of the year, anywhere on earth. Spring and summer are no exception to the rule. But instead of cozy sweaters and flickering candles, spring and summer hygge means enjoying the great outdoors.
Whether it’s paddling in a nearby lake, a laid-back BBQ with friends or toasting marshmallows on a campfire, this is the time for creating memories and enjoying the warm evenings under the starlight sky.
The best part of spring and summer hygge? So many hyggeligt (hue-gah-li) activities can be enjoyed for free! A joyful day at the beach while hunting for shells, sea glass and driftwood; a glass of wine on the dock; reading a book in the sunshine while swaying lazily in a hammock.
Ten ideas for bringing more hygge into your life in the warmer spring & summer months
1. Dine outdoors as often as you can.
Meet friends in the park for a picnic or set a hygge-inspired dining table in your yard with flowers and plenty of candles.
Prepare your food on wooden charcuterie boards and use stemless wine glasses for your wine (plastic cups are not hygge!). It takes a little more preparation, but it makes the overall experience more special.
2. Start a vegetable or herb garden.
There’s something so hygge about growing your own food in summer (all year round, actually) and knowing that it will be sustainable and delicious. If you don’t have the space, start with a small herb garden by a sunny windowsill or balcony, and enjoy the excitement as you watch them grow.
3. Visit a farmer’s market.
Look for items like local produce, eggs, cheese, baked goods, honey, vintage goods, crafts, and bouquets of flowers. Supporting those at farmer’s markets is hygge because it is all about the experience, and you can find products that are in season and ethically produced.
4. Go berry picking and make delicious jam.
Making homemade jam is one of the best hygge ideas as it is a great way to use summer berries. Better yet, build a bonfire and make some traditional Snobrød which is a Danish campfire bread on a stick.
5. Outdoor movie night.
Get a projector and screen, invite some friends, make popcorn, bring out cozy blankets, hang plenty of fairy lights and turn on some of the classics. Make hot cocoa for when the air turns cool.
6. Enjoy the view.
Get up at the crack of dawn to watch the sunrise while opening your windows to let the fresh air breeze in. Sit on the deck or patio and watch the sunset with a cocktail or fruit-infused sparkling water in hand. Enjoy the warmth against your skin.
7. Spend a lot of time in nature.
Enjoy plenty of forest hikes, walks, or strolls along the beach. Be sure to leave your technology behind and just be in nature.
Pay careful attention to the sights, sounds and smells around you. You can have some of your greatest hygge moments in nature whether alone or with others, spring or summer.
8. Don’t forget to set up your outdoor hyggekrog.
If you have an outside space, whether a garden, patio, balcony, or front porch, transform it into a summer hyggekrog! This is a cozy nook where you can curl up in a chair with a beverage and enjoy the view.
Fairy lights, blankets, pillows, and lanterns are hygge additions to any outside space. Perhaps treat yourself to a hammock as there’s something special about being able to lie in a hammock while gently swaying under a hot sun or star-filled sky.
9. Go on a road trip and go camping.
Camping must be one of the most hygge things that you can do in the summer! So pack a tent, gather a group of friends or family and go camping somewhere new.
Have fun playing games and laughing around a bonfire and waking up surrounded by nature and the sound of birds chirping.
10. Perhaps renting a cabin is more your style.
Scandinavians love going to a cabin, not only in winter but in summer too! Getting into nature is one of the most beloved Scandinavian traditions and renting a cabin in the woods is one way to feel all hyggeligt.
Hygge is about slowing down, being mindful and feeling happy from the inside out, summer and always. Subscribe to the quarterly Hygge in a Box and bring more hygge into your life every season! Visit hyggeinabox.ca.