By Katie Mae Stanley, Contributing Writer
“Oh the weather outside is frightful, but the fire (and hygge!) is so delightful.”
Winter has settled in and taken up residence for those of us in the northern hemisphere. White Christmas was fine and dandy a month ago. Now you find yourself dreaming of spring. Even for those who don’t experience snow (like me), the rain and cold can be tiring.
There’s an answer to your mid-winter blues, it’s a beautiful thing called hygge.
Hygge, pronounced, “hoo-ga” (or more accurately: make the “ee” sound but with your mouth in the “oh” position for the “y” part of the word), is a Danish word roughly described as coziness, though it is said that there is no way to properly translate the word. It is thought to be more of a feeling, or an atmosphere, than a simple trait.
And, in case you haven’t already seen it around – it’s been a “buzz word” for the past year or so. And for good reason.
Hygee is beautiful. It is a gift in the “bleak mid-winter” that encourages you to embrace the season you are in and not be longing for the next.
“Hygge was never meant to be translated. It was meant to be felt.” – ToveMaren Stakkestad
Do you love to wrap your hands around a steaming cuppa? That’s hygge. How about curling up by the fire with a warm blanket and a favourite book? Again, hygge.
Enjoying a big bowl of soup while chatting with a few friends? Yes and yes, those are hygee too. Especially the friends-coming-together part.
Hello hygge, where have you been all of my life?
There is something deep inside all of us that resonates with the concept of hygge. It’s the feeling that I have been longing for and trying to embrace for most of my life.
Crafting your home to be a haven is a big part of hygge. Adopting simple ways of decorating, traditions, and the foods you lovingly prepare help bring about that coziness and sense of belonging that you long for.
To make things a bit easier for you (and me), here is a list of 10 ways to create hygge this winter in your own home.
10 Ways to Create Hygge this Winter
Candles cast the perfect glow about a room; just looking at one makes me feel cozy and at peace. They have a soothing effect that most sources of artificial light don’t provide.
It connects you with an older time and traditions long gone by where people only had candle light to get them through the long hours of darkness in the winter months.
Beeswax candles have always been my preferred go-to candle with soy wax ones being a second (and more economical) choice. They smell heavenly as they burn, filling the room with a light honey fragrance.
2. Yellow Lights
In a day and age where LED and fluorescent lights are widely popular, sometimes it is nice to go the path less taken and embrace the standard “old fashioned” yellow light bulbs.
Yellow lights, like candles, let off a much softer glow that feels more soothing and is gentler on the eyes. The yellow glow just feels cozier.
If you are looking for other soft light sources, consider investing in a couple of Himalayan salt lamps for your home.
3. Hot Beverages
Is there anything better than wrapping your hands around a mug of coffee, tea, or hot cocoa? I love them all and generally enjoy all three on any given day in the colder months. They can be as simple as a mug of honey-sweetened hot chocolate or on the fancier side with a Bowl of Soul (chamomile latte).
If those aren’t enough, try any of these 50 hot drink recipes that will warm you up on a cold day!
More Soups to Savor:
5. Cozy Socks
Are socks really that important? Oh yes, yes they are. Socks are not just mandatory pieces of clothing that you pull over your feet so you can get out the door.
There are fuzzy socks, wool socks, toe socks (have those ever been okay?), knee socks, argyle socks… you get the picture. Socks warm your feet and allow you to express a bit of your personality.
Who wants cold feet? There is nothing hygge about that.
6. Warm Blankets
In my world, the perfect bed has a down comforter on top. It’s the type of blanket that makes it hard to get up in the morning and invites you to settle in with a good book before going to bed.
Soft blankets are a must to have around the house in the winter. I like to have a basket of blankets where everyone can pull one out and cover up while talking, reading, or watching a movie.
I also tend to keep one on a chair to settle down with when I take a break.
7. Good Books
Good books are like best friends, they are the ones that you can visit again and again and never grow tired of them.
New books are exciting to read but this is the time of year to pull out your cherished favourites.
Books to consider:
- Little Women
- Pride and Prejudice (or anything else Jane Austen)
- The Anne of Green Gables series
- The Chronicles of Narnia
For more ideas check out Reclaiming Peace through Reading (and 10 Books I’ve Read and Loved in 2016)!
8. Have People Over
Winter is a time to celebrate family and friends. Despite the cold, winter brings people together.
You don’t have to wait for a holiday to invite people into your home. Have people over for soup and board games. Or invite a friend over for tea and cookies. Introverts and extroverts alike can experience hygge by enjoying time with others in the coziness of a warm home.
9. Have Intentional Down Time
Introverts unite! In your own homes… 😉
Winter was been made for introverts. It is socially acceptable to not leave your home as often when the weather is not the finest. This INFP is thrilled at that reminder!
Hygge is about self-care too. It’s important to take time for yourself and your immediate family, especially after hosting people. Try to intentionally carve out a few minutes each day to slow down and rest.
That might look like reading a book with your kids or hiding in your bathroom with a piece of dark chocolate. Maybe a warm bath, or just a good ol’ power nap.
10. Movie Night
While the weather is raging outside what’s better than watching a movie curled up alongside your loved ones wrapped up in a blanket? You might as well put on a pair of warm socks and drink a cup of hot cocoa and make it extra hyggelit.
Are these 10 ways to create hygge this winter not enough? Be sure to read 28 reasons not to hate winter – many of the items on the list are related to hygge!