In winter, from November to March, I have hard time with the cold and bleakness.It tends to get worse after the holidays when we are suddenly past the prettiness of the winter and into the crappy cold part. it doesn’t help that I live in one of the coldest regions in the US. I started looking into the Danish concept of Hygge (hoo-gah) for some relief. Maybe it’s because I love the clean,organic look of Scandinavian decor, or maybe it’s because I live 5 minutes from an Ikea. I guess I’ll never know. Regardless, I love the idea of the obsession with getting cozy and making ordinary every day moments more special, meaningful and beautiful. It’s also about slowing the pace of life, and enjoying the process. If the term Hygge intimidates you, think of it more as bringing in coziness essentials.
Here are a few tips for bringing the Danish concept of Hygge into your home and life this winter.
Treat yourself to special, warm drinks.
Don’t just slug down that cup of coffee or tea for quick buzz in a paper cup with a plastic lid. Put it in a beautiful mug. Try specialty coffees, teas and hot chocolate, that you haven’t tried before. Make the very act of drinking them feel special. It’s about focusing on those little moments.
Make your own flavored creamer or froth your warm milk, add enjoyment to your daily drink.
Candles light the way in Denmark where the winters can be long and dark. Even outside, candles add a touch of prettiness to a long winter.
Burn a beautifully scented candle ( always use proper safety!) that lifts your mood. Or burn a plain candle in a pretty holder.
If you are lucky enough to have a fireplace, get that going too! I dream of a fireplace…In my next house 🙂
But even if you don’t you can fake it with a beautiful mantel, a cluster of well-tended candles or even a burning fireplace on YouTube. Or, to avoid the fire hazard, try battery operated candles to warm up your space.
Make good food and enjoy it.
So often we rush, rush ,rush and just jam food in our gobs, while on our phones. PUT DOWN THE PHONES-TURN OFF THE INTERNETS.
It’s about making and then sitting around and enjoying what we’ve made. The flavors, the smells, real plates, and cloth napkins.
Find the steak salad recipe with homemade ranch dressing here.
Roast seasonal root veggies- I love a good roasted potato. Add baking into your week. Like this apple crumble. Eat oatmeal ,with apple crumble.
Cook real food, or at least order it out.
Enjoy the simple good things about winter.
Add comforting warmth.
Get a pretty, warm blanket, or even add a flokati rug to your chair, and some pretty and cozy pillows.
Something that makes it nice to sit and feel warm and luxurious. I have several faux fur blankets that I love,and a few my grandma knitted years ago. My kids love them too because I often find them wrapped up, walking around the house bundled in them like a bunch of old ladies.
And have enough blankets around that if a guest wants to grab one, they can feel free to wrap themselves up an get comfy.
From the book Creatively Christmas and Jeanne Oliver
Keep them in a nice basket, so they are an easy grab for anyone, including yourself.
Snuggle up with a book or magazine, and keep reading materials at hand.
There is nothing cozier than taking the time to have a nice warm drink, a warm blanket and a good book.
In fact, making reading materials as a part of your decor, is an inviting way to suggest reading.
I mean, that’s why I have Discover and Smithsonian magazine in my bathroom. If the kids are going to be in there a while, they might as well learn something.
Make something handmade, an enjoy the process.
Take warm baths and use luxurious lotions. While eating cookies. O.K.I don’t really know about the cookies part; It sounded really good though.
Bring natural element inside like greenery and plants.
And real plants raise the humidity in your home too, so there’s that benefit as well.
This is the one I have the hardest time with. Get outside and enjoy winter!
I am an outdoor person, all the time… when it’s over 40 degrees. Today it was negative 11. Yes, that was NEGATIVE 11 degrees. I was complaining in my head that I had to get in my CAR and DRIVE my kids to school. So this one is a little harder for me to swallow. I’m not in bad shape, but one time, I went snowshoeing… and I thought I was going to die. So, you don’t have to do extreme winter sports,but just getting outside and enjoying the beauty of winter can give you a small boost from being cooped up.
Walking down snowy tree lined streets, a bright sun,and clear fresh air (over 20 degrees), with a soft crunch under your feet can give you a burst of much needed change from being inside all of the time, and getting stir crazy. If you are in a milder weather zone,where it’s not like Siberia (like it is here), enjoy getting out on the porch, wrapped in a warm blanket, with a hot drink.
It’s about looking at the beautiful,simple coziness of winter and not the cold,bleakness where you have to start your car at 6 a.m., and there is an inch of ice on the windshield because you don’t have a garage to park in… It’s not that at all.
I hope you can add a little bit of the Danish concept of Hygge into your winter day and it helps get you through until that first pop of spring color appears and it gets above 40!