Mys – The Swedish Art of Coziness and Its Comparison with Hygge

In Culture, Swedish Culture by Skjalden

Mys is an integral part of Swedish culture and is a concept that embodies coziness, comfort, and the enjoyment of life’s simple pleasures. It bears a close resemblance to the Danish concept of hygge. While both mys and hygge share the fundamental idea of creating a warm and cozy atmosphere, they each have their unique cultural nuances.

At their core, both mys and hygge are about creating a sense of warmth, happiness, and contentment. They encourage people to slow down, appreciate the moment, and enjoy the company of friends and family or the solitude of a peaceful setting. The main difference lies in cultural interpretation and application. In Sweden, mys often extends to everyday moments and personal experiences, while in Denmark, hygge is more focused on creating a cozy environment, particularly in the home.

Mys in Everyday Settings

Morning Mys: A Serene Start to the Day: The concept of mys extends to how mornings are spent. Morning mys involves starting the day in a calm and relaxed manner. This could be enjoying a cup of coffee while watching the sunrise, having a quiet moment of reflection, or a gentle yoga session. It’s all about setting a peaceful tone for the day ahead.

Workplace Mys: Finding Comfort at Work: In Sweden, the concept of mys isn’t confined to home. Many strive to bring a sense of mys to the workplace too. This might involve creating a cozy corner in the office where employees can relax or incorporating soft, warm lighting to reduce stress. Workplace mys transforms the work environment into a more pleasant and comfortable space.

Kvällsmys: The Evening Unwind: As the day winds down, kvällsmys takes center stage. It’s about transforming ordinary evenings into relaxing retreats. This could involve dimming the lights, donning comfortable attire, and enjoying a soothing activity like reading or listening to soft music. Kvällsmys is about finding peace and tranquility at the end of a busy day.

Weekend Mys: Leisurely Weekends at Home: The weekends offer a perfect opportunity for extended mys. This might involve engaging in hobbies, cooking a favorite meal, or simply lounging with a good book. Weekend mys is about taking the time to do what you love most, in the most relaxed way possible, recharging for the week ahead.

Digital Mys: Unplugging for Serenity: In an age where digital devices are omnipresent, Swedes often practice digital mys by consciously unplugging from technology. This could mean turning off phones and computers to enjoy a board game, engage in a heart-to-heart conversation, or indulge in solitary activities like knitting or painting. Digital mys is about reconnecting with the physical world and oneself, away from digital distractions.

Mys Through the Seasons: A Year-Round Practice

Transitioning into spring and summer, vårmys and sommarmys celebrate the warmer seasons. These terms describe the Swedish way of enjoying the outdoors, whether it’s picnics in the park, leisurely walks in nature, or simply basking in the sun. The essence of mys adapts to the changing seasons, proving that it’s not just confined to colder months.

A unique aspect of mys is stormys, which refers to finding comfort during stormy or harsh weather. This might involve listening to the rain while wrapped in a blanket or watching the snowfall with a warm drink in hand. Stormys is about appreciating the beauty of nature’s fury while being snug and safe indoors.