Hygge is hard to explain, but you know it when you see it. It’s different for everyone, and personal to what you love and value. But what all hygge moments have in common is that they’re about being present in the moment and appreciating life.
Hygge is a Danish phenomenon about enjoying the small moments in life with the ones you love. It’s no surprise then that Denmark is often cited as one of the happiest countries in the world.
But what does it look like? It could be a picnic in the park with your friends. It could be cozying up reading a book in front of the fire. It could be enjoying a home cooked meal with your family.
But why should Americans care?
The U.S. is well known for being a hard working culture. Americans every year put in long hours, have fewer vacation days, and are more stressed as a result.
According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) OECD stats, U.S. workers work “442 more hours per year than German workers, 294 more hours per year than United Kingdom (UK) workers, 301 more hours per year than French workers, and 184 more hours per year than Japanese workers.”
The U.S. remains the only industrialized country in the world that has no legally mandated annual leave. According to the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), “Close to 1 in 4 U.S. workers do not receive paid vacation or paid holidays.”
What does this mean for American workers?
- Around 1 million Americans miss work each day because of stress
- 62% of workers end the day with work-related neck pain
- 34% report having trouble sleeping due to work-related stress
- 76% of workers in the U.S. report that stress from work affects their personal relationships negatively
If this isn’t reason enough to slow down and take a break, then keep reading.
Why did we choose the name ‘Hygge’?
Speaking from personal experience, after my husband and I moved from the UK, we quickly started to notice a difference in the work culture. After working in the US for a few years, we noticed ourselves getting more stressed, and not feeling as fresh and as ready for the day as we used to. We hadn’t taken a two week summer vacation for years, due to the reduced amount of vacation time we now got. It was taking a toll on us.
In 2020 the global pandemic hit, and in a weird sort of way it reset our life and reminded us of how important it is to slow down. I was furloughed 100%, and my husband was furloughed 20% from our corporate jobs, and suddenly we time on our hands.
We decided to take the plunge and open our first vacation rental at Giants Ridge, MN, and spent many long weekends during the summer and fall of 2020 renovating our new property. Spending so much time in Northern Minnesota was a breathe of fresh air, literally. The pace of life was so much slower, the surroundings were so quiet and peaceful, it really was a little slice of heaven.
Given the strong Scandinavian heritage of the area, ‘hygge’ seemed like the perfect word to use in the name of our new brand of vacation rentals. We wanted people to get away from their busy lives in the cities and head to our vacation rental to enjoy nature, peace and quiet and quality time with their loved ones. And so The Hygge Suite brand was created.
Our mission was and still is:
Since 2020 we’ve opened another two vacation rentals in Lutsen, MN near the beautiful North Shore of Lake Superior. We’re very deliberate about where we choose to locate our properties. You’ll always find them in or close to areas of natural beauty, so you have the opportunity to relax, unwind and enjoy the hygge moments.