Sustainable You: Find time for some Coorie and Hygge

Coorie and Hygge

By Karen Langston

As the Valley cools to embrace ol’ man winter, our thoughts turn to making our homes warm and inviting. We light the fireplace, candles for ambiance, and reminisce about days gone by snuggling up with a loved one. It’s a fine line between coming off the business of the holidays and finding the time for rest, relaxation and sharing time with loved ones.


And it’s not just Americans seeking a little balance—it is a European pilgrimage. The people of Denmark, which known as one of the happiest nations in the world, seek out Hygge (pronounced hue-guh), a Norwegian word meaning “well-being.”

It is only fitting that Hygge’s meaning is the feeling of the moment, whether alone or with friends, at home or out, ordinary or extraordinary, cozy, charming or special. 

During the long cold winter, candles are the crux of creating Hygge. In fact, Denmark sells more candles than any other European country. According to author Meik Wiking’s The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living, during autumn and winter, candles are lit almost every day.


While the Danes are enjoying moments of Hygge, the Scots are practicing Coorie.

According to Gabriella Bennett, author of The Art of Coorie: How to Live Happy the Scottish Way, Coorie is used to describe “a feeling of cool, contemporary Caledonia.” 

The aim of Coorie is to try to lead a quieter existence, where the endless pursuit of work is balanced by small pleasures. 

There are two parts to the traditional Scottish word. The first is “to snuggle or “cuddle”—think Flagstaff, warming up by the roaring fire, sipping hot drinks and enjoying the comforts of others.  

The second part is about embracing the outdoors; feeling exhilarated and appreciative of being with nature.

Here in the Valley, where we are privileged with fantastic winters, it’s no wonder visitors flock in search of a little of their own Coorie.    

Not an outdoors person and just want to kick it all off and relax?


You may be feeling a little kalsarikännit (pronounced cal-sar-y-cuhn-eet), otherwise known as päntsdrunk; a combination of kalsari (underwear) and kännit (drunkenness).

According to Finland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kalsarikännit is “a drink at home in your underwear.” The feeling “refers to those times when you can’t be bothered to go anywhere, so you just have a drink at home—in your underwear, because why dress up if you’re not going anywhere?” 

C’mon, I’m sure you have felt a little päntsdrunk once or twice? I know I have.

Päntsdrunk is about letting go and being yourself, no affectation and no performance. I think in today’s times of being politically correct or putting on our happy-face mask one too many times, it is good to just let the real you shine through in the comfort of your own Coorie, päntsdrunk and all.

This is not a trend, but a way of life for the Finnish. In fact, Finland is the first country to release its own set of official national emojis based on the päntsdrunk feeling, and other hard-to-describe Finnish customs.

So, how will you embrace winter in the Valley? How will you bring balance to your life? Will it be a little Coorie, Hygge or an all-out päntsdrunk?

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Karen Langston is a Certified Holistic Nutritionist working with clients and professionals on how to have three healthy poops a day. Poop well, be well.

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