No, that’s not a spelling mistake. Hygge (pronounced “hoog-uh”) is the Danish idea of feeling cozy and content by enjoying the simple pleasures in life. The Danes spend most of their year in the cold and still rank high year after year for happiness. Hygge is a lifestyle and philosophy, so it isn’t about buying the right thing, it’s about creating a space that brings you joy every day.
Pile on the Layers
“Home Is Where the Heart Is” shouldn’t just be a cheesy saying above Grandma’s fireplace. Americans spend most of their time at home—now more than ever—and creating a relaxing space decreases anxiety and depression. Add soft pillows and throw blankets to your home to stay warm this winter and make your space Dane-approved.
Dim the Lights
Spending most of your day staring at a computer can seriously hurt your mood. Too much blue light from screens throws off your circadian rhythm, which keeps you up at night. Switch out your lightbulbs for warm toned, lower-wattage ones and light more candles to fight the blue light. Candles will not only make your home smell good, they’ll also put off a nice glow.
Sip a Warm Drink
Do you remember the last thing you drank? Or how it felt to drink it? If not, you probably aren’t practicing mindful drinking. In the winter, warming up with a cup of hot tea, cider, or coffee can be a moment to enjoy. Try to get alone at the beginning or end of your day and reflect on all that happened. Even a short meditation can reduce anxiety and improve your mood.
Cook Comfort Foods
Nothing makes a home cozy like fresh baked goods. Bake a new dish or a familiar one from scratch to unwind and enjoy comfort foods. For a hygge night in, cook homemade soup, mulled cider, or cinnamon rolls. Or hop on the trend of baking your own bread!
Diffuse the Oils
Essential oils have grown in popularity in the past few years for their mental health benefits. Diffusing oils creates a ritual to focus on and the scents can boost your mood. Hygge is all about connecting with others, and you can use oils to set the right atmosphere. Try diffusing a welcoming blend when friends come over or choose scents for a special night with your significant other. To bring more nature in your home, diffuse floral and woodsy scents like lavender, cedar, and geranium.
Gather Around the Fire
Learn more about bringing hygge into your life with The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living. For more ways to stay happy this winter, check out how to keep light in your home all season long.