Have you been hearing about “hygge” a lot lately? It’s a Danish word that’s become very trendy but it can also be a little bit hard to understand (and pronounce).
What is Hygge?
Hygge, pronounced “hue-guh”, is a Danish term defined as “a quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being” according to the Oxford Dictionary. A lot of Scandinavian countries practice hygge in the winter to bring a sense of warmth and community to their lives during the long, cold days. And it must be working because the Scandinavian people are said to be the happiest people in the world!
I may live in sunny California now but I grew up on the East Coast so I know that the winter months can get kind of depressing! The days get shorter and colder and SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder starts to set in. You really can start to feel depressed after being stuck inside all winter long!
That’s why I’m very drawn to the idea of hygge. Hygge living can be thought of as both a mindset and actions that one can put into practice. To me, hygge living means practicing gratitude, finding happiness in the little things, and spending time with loved ones. And isn’t that what the holidays is all about anyway?
Hygge Living Tips for the Holidays
What I love about the idea of hygge is that you can make a few simple changes or go all out. It’s really up to you!
Get Cozy with Candles
One of my favorite ways to add warmth or hygge during the holidays is to light ALL the candles. Not only do they create soft, ambient lighting but they fill your room with comforting scents. It’s up to you what scents you find most relaxing during the holidays but I love warm, holiday inspired scents like Pumpkin Spice, Apple Cider, or Christmas Tree!
Now’s a good time to light your fireplace if you have one. If not, you can always create the illusion of one with a candle shrine. The more candles, the better, in my opinion! Or just play the Yule Log channel on your TV! I actually just did that today and it did make things seem more cozy.
Get Cozy with Textiles
Once you’ve warmed up the room with candles or a fire, it’s time to get cozy under some blankets! Nothing invites a sense of coziness into the room like a couch full of blankets and pillows. I like to decorate the room with a variety of blankets in different textures. These chunky knit blankets are my favorite for warmth. And you can’t beat the softness of these blankets. I also love adding faux fur pillows or sheepskins throughout the house on chairs or benches for extra texture and fuzziness.
You’ll also want to grab yourself a pair of furry slippers or house shoes and cute pajamas to get cozy with on the couch. I just got these Mou Boots from a brand event and they are super cozy! And these plaid PJ’s from Target are so soft and a steal at only $30!
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Grab a Festive Drink
Nothing puts you in the holiday spirit like some festive spirits or warm cup of cocoa. You get extra hygge points if you simmer a pot of mulled wine or cider on the stove. Not only are you making a yummy holiday drink, you’re infusing the house with yummy scents!
If you want to go all out, set up a bar/drink cart so you have easy access to create your favorite drink! You can also decorate it for the holiday season.
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Grab a Book or Journal
You’re going to want to put away your cell phone and computer if you want to capture the hygge spirit. Hygge is about enjoying the moment, and while technology is great, it has a way of distracting us from the present. Take the opportunity to read a book off of your ever growing list. Or even better, grab a journal and reflect of everything your are grateful for. There are a lot of things you can “do” to create a Hygge atmosphere but a big part of the hygge lifestyle comes from within.
What I like about Hygge
I’m not usually the person that’s really into meditation or mindfulness practices but there’s something about hygge that I really like. I think it has to do with creating an atmosphere around you of all the things you love and taking time to slow down. I’m usually pretty good at making time for myself but around the holidays it’s really easy to get super busy and miss the whole feeling of Christmas. This is a great reminder to appreciate what’s around you and spend more time with friends and family.
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