Now that the Holidays are over, there is a little less light in our daily lives. There are less gatherings with friends and family. Less focus on warmth and love. And not as much to look forward to in the coming months besides less sun, colder temperatures and more gray skies.
It can be difficult to feel the same kind of warmth and coziness that the holidays bring, once they’re over. But, there are simple ways you can create it for yourself. This is where hygge comes in…
Hygge definition: (pronounced: hue-guh) “a quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being.” There is no direct translation into English, but some close terms might be “cozy” and “warm”. It is a feeling that is created from simple acts and being present in the moment. And, it is the secret to why the Danish people are so happy, despite most of their months being dreary and cold.
There are a few elements that are classic to the Danish version of hygge:
- Hot drink (think: tea, hot chocolate, coffee, etc.)
- Scenic nature (picture: snowy mountains)
- Books (no technology!)
- Candles (an absolute must!)
- Snug blanket (or two?)
- Comfy clothes (think: oversized sweater, leggings and fuzzy socks)
- Hearty comfort food (maybe carbs or a stew?)
In your head you may be picturing a cabin in the woods adorned with furs, featuring shelves of books and a roaring fire place, while it snows outside. However, true hygge isn’t about being picture perfect, its more about the feeling of simplicity in coziness. Unless you have a cabin to work with, maybe you need some other options of how to make hygge doable for you.
For one of my closest friends, it is long walks with her fiancé, where they both turn off their cell phones and focus on each other. They can discuss what’s on their minds and reconnect without the busyness of the world interrupting them.
For my mom, it is a quiet Sunday afternoon at the kitchen table, reading the Washington Post.
For me, I practice hygge before I go to bed at night. I created this ritual in college, to clear my mind before sleeping that helps me find a little more peace, and leaves room for me to reflect. It’s simple: I light a candle and drink a hot cup of green tea. Just sitting in bed, with a warm cup of tea in hand and only the light of a candle is personally very cozy.
I think the best part about hygge is that it is supposed to be simple. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, if anything simple is better. Here are some ideas for practicing hygge daily:
- Sitting for 20 minutes in the morning with a hot cup of coffee or tea just being still. Maybe it even involves looking outside a window at nature (or just staring at a potted plant if you live in the city).
- Sitting with a friend and talking about anything.
- Sharing food with a friend.
- Reading a book by a fireplace (or space heater?!)
- Cuddling with your pet(s).
- Wearing fuzzy socks or your softest bathrobe around the house.
Whatever it is that brings you warmth & coziness during this cold, winter season, you should make time for it.