Have you read one of the two hundred thousand trend pieces on Hygge (HOO-gah), the Danish word for cozy? Don’t—I’m going to explain what it is in this blog, and also teach you, even the most hardened of city skeptics, how to achieve Scandinavian bliss.
Hygge is described by the New York Times as “a national manifesto, nay, an obsession expressed in the constant pursuit of homespun pleasures involving candlelight, fires, fuzzy knitted socks, porridge, coffee, cake, and other people.” It seems to me, though, that it is merely the act of surviving in a hostile climate in such a way that you forget you are doing so. It is the perfect antidote to a year of Trump, in which self-care (the act of graciously not throwing yourself out of a moving taxi cab) became paramount, and delusion (this hydrogel face mask will power my resistance) a must.
In the United States—New York, for example—Hygge is just as necessary, but there are different natural forces threatening our well-being, and thus, different ways we must protect ourselves, and in doing so, convince ourselves we are actually living well.
The first step to achieving Hygge in New York is to run a bath, how about one that is a perfect 98.6 degrees with some Laura Mercier Fresh Fig Honey Bath soap. Purchase a cozy eye mask, like this one, that will block all the light from your roommate’s laptop (how many times can a person watch Frasier?), as well as the sight of the extended family of silverfish that has colonized your kitchen counter. You’ll also need a face mask—this adorable option makes you look like a bear, aw!—to block out the intermingling scents of your old garbage and the Chinese restaurant that is, somehow, both below and above your apartment, as well as to make sure that the silverfish don’t crawl into your mouth while you sleep.
Get yourself a nice pair of Bose noise-canceling headphones like these, but maybe don’t turn on any music; just relish a moment of fucking peace for one goddamn second. Also, get a Dohm-DS white noise machine, just to be sure you can’t hear a thing—not your roommate’s soft and constant weeping, not your downstairs neighbor’s bad music, not the murder taking place on your fire escape literally outside your window—not nothing.
Then, turn on the white noise machine and get into the bath. Put on your eye mask, face mask, and noise-canceling headphones and relax: you’ve made your own sensory deprivation pod in the middle of a bustling city; nothing can get you now.