8 ways to help you move as far away from hygge as possible
Article by Joe Harbot
‘Hygge’ (pronounced ‘hgyy-y♇gf’) is the newest lifestyle trend from Denmark and has been named by Collins as the runner up for word-of-the-year 2016. Loosely translated it means cosiness, and it’s everywhere – followed by a spate of expensive hardbacks. But if you want to stay ahead of the curve, you should try anti-hygge. Here are eight tips to help you master it.
Now that winter is closing in, hygge aficionados suggest getting warm around an open fire. Anti-hygge is all about embracing the bitter reality of winter. Leave the heating off and learn to enjoy seeing your own breath. Notice how your hands slowly start to go numb. Avoid wooly jumpers or blankets and let the air penetrate through to your bones.
Have a cold shower
One of the best ways to remove hygge from your life is to start each day with an ice cold shower in your unheated bathroom. For a bonus anti-hygge point you can try throwing out your plush cotton towels and drying yourself with kitchen roll or scraps of newspaper. The Evening Standard is particularly anti-hygge (and free!).
Throw out your lamps
Lamps create a warm and cosy glow totally detrimental to any decent anti-hygge home. Put them all in a box and leave them on the street. Remove all your lampshades as well, and notice how much more bleak everything feels in the glow of exposed bulbs. Low wattage energy saving bulbs such as this one give off the most anti-hygge light currently available.
Loose the sofa
Soft furnishings and carpets go completely against the spirit of anti-hygge. If you really want to embrace this new lifestyle, try replacing your three piece suite with a hard wooden bench, pile up some breeze blocks to sit on, or for the full anti-hygge experience, constantly remain standing. Instead of carpets, try tarpaulin. The best anti-hygge tarpaulin is cheap and relatively easy to procure. Have a look at the selection at UKTarps.com. Choose tarpaulins made of synthetic plastics rather than waxed cotton and throw them casually in different places around your flat, or lay them out on the floor, holding the edges down with more breeze blocks if necessary.
Invest in a microwave
A microwave is the perfect way to cook your anti-hygge meals. You could pick up a Rustlers Burger from your local convenience store, or head to Iceland for a wider selection, including Meal in a Bag Chicken and Prawn Paella or Ocean Pie for one. Simply remove the outer packaging, pierce the film lid and cook on full power for fifteen minutes, then eat it straight from the plastic tray, either standing in the kitchen or sitting on your breeze block chair.
Stop emptying your bins
There’s nothing less hygge than an overflowing bin and the smell of rotting rubbish.
Remember the importance of solitude
Where hygge advocates spending quality time with those you love, anti-hygge is all about isolation and social alienation. Spend as much time as you can on your own. Try and get a job working nights, perhaps in a big warehouse, or if this isn’t an option for you, just spend long periods at home alone, mindlessly watching television until 3am. If you want to, you could try biting your fingernails all the way back to the quick while staring into the middle distance. Avoid Christmas parties and other social events and try and ignore people when they attempt to contact you.
Experiment with drinking alone
It’s best to stick to the hard spirits for this. A 1.5 litre bottle of vodka can be bought for as little as £20 in most commercial supermarkets. Don’t bother with a glass, it’s fine to drink it straight from the bottle, perhaps accompanied by some kingsize cigarettes or even a whole packet of paracetamol and anti-depressants.