The Danish concept “hygge,” pronounced “hoo-ga,” is usually translated into English as “cosiness,” and is said to be one of the reasons why the Danes are the happiest people in the world, despite their long dark winters.
Recently named one of the words of the year by Collins Dictionary, for those who haven’t yet heard of it you might already be doing it, especially now that weather is getting colder in the northern hemisphere.
If you enjoy a night in snuggled on the sofa with a good book, that’s hygge, cooking a warming stew for a cosy night in with friends, that’s also hygge. Hygge is a different and more snuggly way to nourish yourself and your well-being, and rather than despair over the cold dark days that the new season brings the Danes embrace them by perfecting the art of living cosily.
To look after your own well-being and help you enjoy the new season we round up some of the cosiest ways to be more hygge this winter.
Create a cosy living space
You might not be fortunate enough to have an open fire, which would be very cosy indeed, but with a few small steps you can make your home more hygge. Turn down the lighting, treat yourself to some good quality candles, snuggle under luxurious throws and blankets and create a space which can be your sanctuary from the cold.
Embrace the food
Hygge is not about raw food or green smoothies. First of all the Danes love bacon, not exactly part of the “clean eating” trend, but indulging in some comfort food will lift your spirits and nourish you in a different way this winter. Hygge is not about punishing yourself but about enjoying good food and being kind to yourself.
So bake some bread, treat yourself to warm pastries at the bakery, add a slice of bacon to your breakfast, and enjoy all the wonderful food and seasonal fruits and veggies that the fall and winter brings. And if you opt for hearty home-made soups, stews, and roasted vegetables, you’ll still enjoy plenty of health benefits while also keeping warm and well-fed this winter.
Be social, but without leaving the house
It can be difficult to find the motivation to leave the house in winter, but being social will help keep your spirits up during the darker days. Instead of making lots of outdoor plans in the cold invite friends over to enjoy your new cozy living space, cook some nourishing but delicious comfort food and enjoy an evening in with a good film and great company.
Enjoy some alone time
It’s great to be sociable during winter, and there is often no better evening than one spent with friends and family, but hygge is also great for enjoying some space and alone time. Get hold of a good book for a cosy night under the blankets, watch a great film with a mug of hot tea, or run a warm bath with some indulgent and aromatic oils for a relaxing soak. It’s like practising self-care for winter.
Connect with nature
We all feel better after some time in nature, and although it might be cold out there if you can be brave and wrap up warm it can be a great time of year to enjoy the changing seasons.
A brisk, fresh walk with friends in the countryside or heading to the park to walk the dog can give you a break from technology and a chance to connect with nature, as well as clear your head and calm your mind. And if it gets a little too chilly then you have all that delicious and warm hygge food to look forward to when you head home.
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