The Danish concept of ‘hygge’ represents an growing worldwide curiosity that attempts to emulate the happiness experienced in Denmark and its Scandinavian neighbours. Hygge is a feeling, not a word. It wouldn’t be ‘hyggeligt’ to tell you how to pronounce it, or how to define it! However, there are many ways that you could make your life as a student more hygge.

A panicked, stressed, and over-encumbered life, revolving wholly around your studies and financial worries, is not hygge. Nor is it healthy. If you desire a hygge lifestyle, you must stop talking to your pockets, and disregard materialism. Hygge can be as simple as taking a bike ride with friends, or as cheap as treating yourself to a packed lunch overlooking UKC’s vista of Canterbury Cathedral.

Hygge is about good social relationships, trust and togetherness. Love in all its forms is the engine of survival, and the waterwheel of life. Hygge thrives in its presence. When you are cuddled up on the sofa with your dog in front of a crackling fire, preparing a pizza with your friends in your kitchen, in your pyjamas playing video games, or cosying-up to a delightful book; these are the moments where you can truly be in love with life, channelling your inner hygge. In this way, hygge transcends emotional and physical states. An activity can be described as hyggeligt, as can a feeling of gratefulness, as can a room.

A hyggeligt environment is focused on candles: candles in the kitchen, candles on the dinner table, candles in primary schools, candles in cafés, and candles in waiting rooms! It helps that, in Denmark, hygge takes priority over fire safety, even in the workplace. But not to worry, hygge can be facilitated in your university dorm without the use of these pillars of fire. A hyggeligt dorm room does not have one stark, cool-toned light in the centre, there several lamps strategically placed to create rock pools of light. You will feel more relaxed. It will create an intimate atmosphere perfect for writing an essay, sketching, or catching up on reading.

Hygge has a familiar sound, smell, texture, and a taste. Comfort food is another important element of the hygge lifestyle. If you want to make your tea more hyggeligt, add a drop of honey. If you hate cooking make yourself something a bit more simple.

Listen to the birds sing at the break of the day. Swaddle yourself in the silence of darkness. Look at the sky against the silhouette of trees from the library window. Watch the rain. Do not dwell on what is yet to be. Invest in a life of gratitude. Repent, forgive and take pleasure from the presence of memories, nostalgia, and moments in the present.

Live hygge, live well, and enjoy every second of that cake; those candles and those toasted marshmallows on top of your hot chocolate’s iceberg of whipped cream.

If you want to learn more about how to emulate the hygge lifestyle, ‘The Little Book of Hygge’ by Meik Wiking is a great guide to get you on your way.