As we settle into the winter months, there’s nothing I enjoy more than cozy nights on the couch by the fire. The concept of hygee is something I’ve come to embrace over the last few years and it changes the tone of your home (especially during winter).
Hygee (pronounced hue-guh) is a Danish word that is used to describe a feeling of comfort and coziness or the concept of indulging in good things and people around you. For those of you struggling with Seasonal Affective Disorder (a very common condition that affects more than 3 million people in the US per year) bringing some hygee into your life may help brighten your mood. It’s really about creating an environment that is centered on family, comfort, and coziness.
Summertime is full of days spent outside getting dirty and staying up late sitting on the beach under a full moon and starts. As the days get shorter and we transition from our hectic outdoor schedule into hibernation mode, the concept of hygee helps me settle and re-center. There’s something special about ending your day in a warm, inviting home where you feel extreme comfort and relaxation. What I’ve found is that if you make a conscious effort to slow down and transform your home into a place that evokes this feeling it’s easier to accomplish. Surrounding yourself with little things that make you happy and good company is a great way to enjoy the present moment and find happiness in simplicity.
The word is derived from a sixteenth-century Norwegian term, hugga, meaning to “console” or “comfort”. I like to think of hygee as creating a sanctuary. Louisa Thomsen Brits wrote in her book “The Book of Hygee: The Danish Art of Living Well”, “When we hygger, we frame the moment, give it our full attention, savor and hold it, in an awareness that the moment will pass. We feel how one moment becomes layered on to the next; past and present mingle together – everything falling into place, into one accord.” For some, these moments will be crisp morning walks where you enjoy the falling leaves and changing colors. For others, it may be the scent of apple pie or the feeling of a soft blanket.
For me — I find bits of hygee all around me. Wood crackling in the fireplace. Curling up in bed under a fleece blanket. Hand written love notes. Fresh flowers. Woolen Socks. Thyme and sage and rosemary melding on the stove. Candles. Tea. Knit Sweaters and shearling slippers. Old books with yellowed pages and notes in the margins. The lingering smell of fire in my hair after sitting by the fireplace. Sipping mead in the kitchen and enjoying crisp French bread. Cinnamon and allspice. Fresh coffee early in the morning. Nights spent with loved ones. Snowy days in woodsy cabins. Hygee to me is about finding blissfulness and tranquility. The days I find complete contentment are those surrounded by good company in an inviting home.
It has a lot to do with mindfulness and gratitude; when you allow yourself to focus on the good and connect with your living space and your loved ones, it is easier to enter a state of bliss and comfort. Yes, there are simple, mundane tasks we all dislike doing. I know very few people that enjoy taking the trash out or washing the dishes. Next time you take the trash out, find something good or beautiful about your community. If you’re washing the dishes, light a few candles and put some fresh flowers by the sink or play some relaxing music. If you allow yourself to snap out of your blissful state and focus on the annoyances of daily life, it’s easy to dwell on the negative factors around you instead of enjoying the simple, beautiful things that make you happy. Take care of yourself and focusing on living a nourished and fulfilled lifestyle.
Hygee Items For Your Home:
- The Sand and Fog Eucalpyptus Mint Matte Candle is relaxing and refreshing. If you’re looking for a way to make your home smell clean and re-nenewed we really like this one.
- Weighted blankets are great for coping with anxiety and help you sleep more soundly.
- Cozy slippers are a must for walking around the house especially if you have tile or wood floors.
- Baked goods are a great way to feel hygee at home. Try out these scones — they’re easy to make and wonderful for breakfast.
- Fresh tea is a personal favorite for having around the house. It’s relaxing to sit down and enjoy a cup by the fireplace. We really like the Teavana teas. A personal favorite is the Youthberry Wild Orange Blossom Tea. It’s fragrant, but not overpowering.
- Make some homemade stew or apple cider in the crockpot and it will make your house smell delicious the entire day.
- We also really enjoy the Capri Blue Volcano Candles. They bring a little taste of summer and sunshine to your living room with bright tropical fruits, sugared oranges, lemons, and limes, redolent with lightly exotic mountain greens. It’s an essential.
- Chunky knit blankets are also a great way to get cozy on the couch.
- If you don’t have a fireplace, don’t you worry. You can try the Duraflame Electric Infared Quartz Fireplace Stove in your apartment to get that fireplace effect.
- Find a pretty teapot to brew your tea in each morning.
Tips For Bringing Hygee Into Your Living Space
- Declutter and get rid of the trash and unnecessary things in your life.
- Allow yourself to have time each day to decompress and do something you enjoy (whether this is taking a bath, drinking fresh tea in the morning, taking a walk, reading a new book, etc).
- Enjoy the light — candles and fireplaces bring a feeling of comfort and warmth to your living space.
- Embrace bringing hygee into your home. If candles are relaxing to you, invest in a few that you really enjoy and actually use them instead of looking at them. Like sitting by the fire? Pick up some logs during your next grocery store run. Embrace the things that bring you happiness.
- Find a good blanket that you really enjoy using on the couch or in bed. You choose: fleece, weighted, heated, chunky knit, it doesn’t matter…. find one you like and enjoy it. It’s something cozy to enjoy. Sweaters and socks are also great.
- Make comfort food and drinks. We really enjoy making stews, fresh breads, and baked goods during the winter months. A home cooked meal is always comforting.
- Set the tone with relaxing and inviting music.
- Find things to do with your friends and family that are relaxing. Watch a movie by the fire. Enjoy drinks together at a cozy bar. Decorate Christmas cookies together.
- Disconnet and set your phone aside. You can check it later. Let yourself enjoy your company and those around you.