Between the festive lull and back-to-work blues, January can be a tough time for your wellbeing. Instead of dreading the early mornings and cursing the dark evenings, Scotland’s national tourist board, VisitScotland, suggest indulging in a little Còsagach to get you through the winter months. Based on an old Scottish word for feeling snug, Còsagach is the cosy lifestyle concept tipped to become one of the top trends of 2018. So is it time to wave goodbye to hygge? The LuxPad finds out…
What is Còsagach?
Pronounced ‘coze-a-goch’ (as in loch) Còsagach is a Gaelic word that embodies the feeling of being sheltered, snug and warm. So far so hygge, so what makes Còsagach different from the much-loved Danish lifestyle? The two concepts are very similar but according to VisitScotland, Còsagach is all about finding the joy in harsh winter weather and embracing the Scottish way of life.
“Scotland is a country where Còsagach can be achieved in all seasons, but it’s winter when it comes into its own. It’s no secret that Scotland can have, at times, rather harsh and ferocious weather. In the winter when the storms rage and the waves crash against the rocks, there is nothing more satisfying than being curled up in front of the fire, book and hot toddy in hand, listening to the weather outside.” – VisitScotland
Whether it’s the simple pleasure of defrosting in a cosy pub with a roaring fire, wrapping up warm for a winter’s walk or enjoying a glamping experience with a wood-fired hot tub, this Scottish lifestyle concept focuses on slowing down and taking the time to practice some self-care. So how can you introduce Còsagach into your own life?
Embrace the Great Outdoors
Scotland is famous for its breath-taking scenery, especially in the winter, but you don’t need to travel to the Highlands to practice Còsagach. Take inspiration from the locals and embrace the great outdoors wherever you are.
Cosy log cabins, tree houses and eco cottages are ideal for slowing down and reconnecting with nature this winter. Sitting under the stars on a clear winter’s evening, a flask of hot chocolate or something stronger in hand is the perfect way to spend a few hours, just remember to switch off those mobile phones and other devices to truly appreciate your surroundings.
If you aren’t able to get away for a weekend there’s still plenty of ways you can embrace Còsagach. Bundle up and blow off the cobwebs with a brisk winter’s walk, taking the time to enjoy the crunch of your boots on the frozen grass and the crisp chill in the air. Better yet, wake up early one morning and pull on your favourite wellington boots, prepare a steaming flask of tea and find a spot where you can enjoy the serene quietness of your home town before the sun rises. There’s nothing more Còsagach than coming home to the warmth after a winter’s stroll that’s left you rosy-cheeked and cold-nosed.
For the Love of Food
Taking the time to enjoy your favourite food and drink plays an important role in Còsagach. Whether you enjoy a long, leisurely dinner at home, curling up with a dram in your local pub or indulging in your favourite breakfast-in-bed, spending some time with your loved ones with the food you love is at the heart of the Scottish lifestyle concept.
Save the juice cleanse for spring, Còsagach calls for comfort food in abundance. Hearty pub lunches, bourbon-spiked hot chocolate and steaming mugs of chai tea will warm you from the inside and give you the sense of contentment Còsagach provokes. Be present in the moment; savour your freshly-brewed cup of coffee, enjoy every last spoonful of that sticky toffee pudding and enjoy a quiet five minutes as you watch your fresh loaf rise in the oven, because it’s not just about eating; preparing home-cooked food is a wonderful way to practise Còsagach.
Everyday Home Comforts
Your home decor is where Còsagach truly sets itself apart from hygge, there’s no room for Scandi minimalism here. Thick, shaggy sheepskin rugs, red tartan throws, a well-worn sofa and a crackling fire all emulate the warmth of a Scottish Highland cabin, and when it comes to cosy accessories more really is more.
In the living room, make your fireplace a focal point by turning it into a cosy reading nook. Dress it up with lanterns, scatter tea lights and pull up your comfiest chair beside it. Take a couple of fringed blankets, your favourite novel, the thickest socks you can find and finish with a pot of spiced tea to create the perfect space to spend a wintry Sunday afternoon.
Còsagach can be introduced in all rooms of the home from the bathroom to the kitchen. Còsagach is wrapping yourself in a soft, fluffy towel after a candlelit bath, putting on your favourite slippers as you get out of bed and discovering the therapeutic benefits of stirring your porridge until it’s just right. It is the art of taking your time, forgetting the demands of everyday life and truly appreciating the moment.
Featured photo by Josh Clemence on Unsplash