The idea of blankets and candles might be the furthest from your mind as we struggle to work in the summer heat. Every year we wonder if the summer weather will every arrive, and after a long and wet few months, it’s finally here! The balmy weather calls for anything that does not require movement. So, what do you do?
When the weather becomes uncomfortably hot, turn to ice cream! There are many ways you can make your own ice lollies. You can try your hand at making smoothies and freezing them if you want a more creamy cooler. Fruit juice also works well, as does water with fruit. You could even go down the alcoholic route! To sit back and relax as you walk through the door.
We complain that we barely have time to relax in the evenings, that might be because we are increasingly spending more and more time looking at our screens. Why don’t you establish a rule? No phone between the hours of 6pm – 9pm, perhaps check it once before you go to bed if necessary – although it’s best if you avoid looking at your screen before bed. So, in order to wean yourself off spending so much time on a screen, what better time than summer time!? It’s lighter (and warmer) for longer, so you can spend more time outside simply chilling. Finish that book you started back on Christmas Day.
Swap duvets for light sheets and throws
If you are still sleeping with a duvet with in this weather, you have no sympathy from us. However, it is nice to have something to cover up should you get chilly at night. Why not make use of that cotton top sheet you got as a gift set but have not used once? Or just a duvet cover! But NOT the whole duvet; there’s nothing Hygge about a sleepless night due to overheating.
Pick your own strawberries
There are Pick-Your-Own farms dotted around the country, strawberries being the most popular crop. It’s a fun activity to do with the children, and you will most likely spot wildlife pollinating flowers. You could also go foraging! It is not illegal. According to the Theft Act 1998 (section 4, subsection 3) “A person who picks mushrooms growing wild on any land, or who picks flowers, fruit or foliage from a plant growing wild on any land, does not (although not in possession of the land) steal what he picks, unless he does it for reward or for sale or other commercial purpose.” So, as long as you’re not selling on what you collect you’ll be absolutely fine.
Open the windows when summer storms arrive
Many people report they find the sound of rain soothing. Combine that with the smell of wet grass and the refreshing effects of a storm and why wouldn’t you have the window open!? Unless you have children and scared animals, fine. But just imagine looking out on the garden, seeing the plants and lawn you have painstakingly watered at dawn and dusk for the past few months. The smell of fresh air after the stuffy atmosphere… And sitting down in the living room with the windows open (not enough to get wet, mind) with the cool breeze reading a book and enjoying a drink of your choice.
Leave work on time
Let’s ignore the fact the Danes work 8am-4pm. They are productive during work hours and leave promptly. A healthy work-life balance is key, so staying late at work on a regular basis is not good mentally or for family life. If you are staying to impress, perhaps rethink that strategy – your boss might be thinking “Why are you staying late? Can you not do your work in your allocated time?” If the answer to that question is an honest No, then it’s time to talk to your manager.
Walk along the beach
Long beach walks are relaxing; you can spot an array of animals and the sand does wonders for your feet! Pebbles, however, are a fun pass time. Look for those shell-shaped fossils, or find an unusually-coloured pebble. If you find a really flat one, try skipping waves! It’s an impressive skill to have as you will gain respect from non-pros. Just beware of your competitive streak.
Add a birdbath to your garden
Look after the wildlife in your garden! Leave a bowl of water outside for quadrupeds, but also think about the birds! If you don’t want to invest in a bird bath, simply place a shallow bowl on the garden table; they’ll use it while you’re at work.
Be spontaneous. You can afford to be, in this weather!
Gatherings with friends or family doesn’t have to be super prepared. If the weather looks nice on a Wednesday, why not have an impromptu BBQ with Nan and Grandad?
Go on a Country Break
Something else the Danes do well is having a summer house; or Sommerhaus. Sure, they go on holidays abroad (we’ve all seen those Norse gods), but they also have a little haven “just down the road”. Some of us have a static caravan or motor home; or even a holiday home in Wales. Perhaps it’s time we all spend some much needed unwind time in the countryside.
The bottom line is, Hygge is what you want it to be. It’s about what makes you feel comfortable, cosy, at ease. You can Hygge on your own or with people. You do not need to lead a clutter-free life if you like having things; or you can be a minimalist. Danes create a home that says “I want to live here”, it’s up to you what that looks like!