5 Ways to Enjoy a Gezellig Life

This word is all about finding contentment.

People enjoy a gezellig life sitting in an outdoor cafe Amsterdam.

(Anton Havelaar / Shutterstock.com)

Gezellig is a Dutch word that means cozy, according to Real Simple, yet cozy when it comes to socializing, having fun, and relaxing. Encompassing so many beautiful ideas, the feeling that it sparks is the spice of life, enhancing memorable and meaningful moments. 

Gezellig is about catching up with those you love and reconnecting with your favorite friends and family members. It can also be any form of kindness and giving, just because. And, it could include reaching out to someone in a warm and friendly way.

It originates from the Dutch word gezel, which means friend, and can be used to describe actions, places, events, and people, according to Dutch Review. It may be harder to pronounce than to actually do: say it like ghe-zell-ik, but remember to keep the ‘g’ soft, advises Real Simple.

As everyone has their own idea of what gezelligheid is, the word can be hard to pin down, but the one thing it often involves is people. Emerging from a two-year-long pandemic, people are now itching to gather, socialize, and reintegrate in a gezellig way.

Now is the ideal time to bring gezelligheid into your life. Here are five rewarding ways to practice this convivial, cozy concept.

Gezellig Fairy Lights

Set up fairy lights in your living room, suggests Dutch Review. Add a few pillows and some flickering scented candles. Invite over your best friends, put on the kettle, and enjoy a pot of herbal tea together. This is actually similar to the Danish word hygge which is about enjoying everyday life. It is appreciating small pleasures, be it reading a book wrapped in a fuzzy blanket, or cooking up a meal with friends. 

A bouquet of tulips beside gentle, twinkling fairy lights create a gezellig ambiance.

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Your Gezellig Pet

Here is another gezellig description from Dutch Review. It is raining and you head home from work soaked and tired. As soon as you turn the key in the lock, you are greeted by your purring cat. Or, if you have a dog, he is wagging his tail in excitement, so happy you are home and only wanting to be by your side.

Relaxing with a purring cat is oh so gezellig!

(Maliflower73 / Shutterstock.com)

Bon Appetit Gezelligheid

You are inside while it is storming outside. This is an ideal opportunity to stay dry indoors and prepare your favorite comfort food, suggests Dutch Review. Be it banana pancakes, a triple decker deli sandwich, or a tray of freshly baked cookies, sit back and savor your craving in the warm comfort of your home.

Enjoying a plate of pancakes and a mug of steaming coffee is a gezellig way to spend a rainy day.

(George Dolgikh / Shutterstock.com)

Sunshine Gezelligheid

After a long, dark, and cold winter, there is no better pleasure than feeling the warmth of the sun on your face, explains Dutch Review. Did you know there is an obscure English word for this? Apricity is the feeling of being kissed by the warm sun. So go outside, breathe in the fresh air, and bask in rejuvenating, gezellig sunshine.

Fresh air and warm sunshine offer true gezelligheid.

(Antonio Guillem  / Shutterstock.com)

Gezellig Day at a Cafe

Make a date with a friend whom you have not seen in a while. Pick your favorite cafe, be it the one with a cozy fireplace inside, or the place that plays great music, or perhaps choose a location with a sun-drenched outdoor patio. Order your favorite beverage, catch up with a friend, and stay a while, relishing the moment of simply being and connecting.

Two girlfriends connect over coffee for a gezellig day at a cafe.

(Viktoriia Photographer / Shutterstock.com)