I am not a big winter person. I hate the cold & the fact that we barely ever see the sun. (Though I can appreciate the fact that all the creepy crawlies die off, as to never turn into the monstrous things I see in hot places on the internet…but I digress.)
When winter starts, we have the holidays breathing down our necks. With busy streets, twinkling lights & merry music everywhere you go – whether you like it or not the first few months swirl by and end with a bang to ring in the new year. So it’s common to leave us all a little out of sorts when we realize how cold, dark + dreary it is. I know there are many who love winter most of all…usually because of winter sports and such; but what about us folk who don’t care to be out in the cold longer than we have to? When maybe going skiing once or twice the entire season is more than enough… what about us?
Well, I have the answer, my friend. I am going to try to inspire you, my winter disliking folk, to look at these unforgiving, cold months as a way to cozy up, connect + celebrate the everyday things. I am going to inspire you to have winter hygge. Like I said, I am not a fan of winter, but I am a BIG fan of keeping things cozy; this girl is a big hygge (HOO-ga) loving individual, which makes these cold months more than bearable…I actually look forward to them for the coziness of it all.
If you aren’t familiar with hygge, I encourage you to read this book. Hygge is the Danish concept of creating a warm inviting atmosphere, taking things slowly, getting cozy + enjoying the simple pleasures of life. Of course, that is the basic, basic version. The book mentioned above will fill you in on all things hygge for every aspect of your life. I read it every year around this time, to give me constant inspiration for the year ahead, but especially throughout the winter. You can also check out my Hygge Pinterest Board, & instantly get the jist of what it means!
One of the first posts I ever wrote was on hygge – that is how much I love + admire this way of living. You can check it out here!
So without further ado, here are a few of my favourite ways to enjoy winter hygge.
DIY spa day
Embrace a hygge wardrobe: casual, scarves, black, thick + bulky tops, layers
Take a nap with your pet
Quietly enjoy a hot drink
Learn to knit, crochet or macrame
Have breakfast in bed
Indulge in your favourite treats: something familiar, sweet + comforting
Reduce the amount of TV you watch – read instead
Have a day where you do absolutely nothing + make no plans
Enjoy a sauna
Put on your hyggebukser: the pants you would never wear in public but are so cozy, they are still your favourite
WITH + FOR OTHERS
Write actual handwritten letters
Visit someone who is homebound
Go sledding: I know, I know this is outdoors, but no one can deny sledding is still fun, and coming in after being in the snow all cozy & looking forward to warming up with a blanket and hot drink could not be any more hygge.
Host a board game night
Give more hugs
Have a family afternoon nap
Look back at old photos + videos with loved ones
Give your newly knit creation to someone
Have a food party: everyone brings an ingredient or two and spend the evening cooking together
TV night: get together with friends once every couple weeks to watch a favourite show
Have a bonfire: bonus if you have a wood fire in your home, that would be ideal, but it does make sense to have a bonfire outside in the cold rather than on a hot summer’s night, right?
Have a swap party: come together and swap things you don’t want anymore!
IN THE KITCHEN
Light candles at dinner
Cook with seasonal produce
Try a new hot drink
Bake from scratch
Have a hot fondue dinner
Cook soup once a week
Make a hyggekrog: a small nook in your kitchen that is hygge, possibly beside a window with a pillow & candle
AROUND YOUR HOME
Listen to some retro tunes
Turn your main lights off, and your lamps on
Bring out all the blankets
Add greenery in your home
Take away the things you don’t love
Candles, candles, candles: Hygge can be a smell too, so light your favourite scented candle!
Spend time in front of a fireplace
Listen to music on a record player
Leave your holiday string lights up
Create a bookshelf and/or add to your bookshelf
Put on nature sounds: have you ever done this when going to sleep or when you need to calm down? The sound of a storm or fire crackling are very hygge sounds! My husbands favourite are ocean sounds.
The Hygge Emergency Kit
A few of my favourite Hygge essentials for winter
Notebook + pen
You may notice there is a common theme to many of these activities. Enjoying the simple things in life, slowing down with the ones we love + putting an effort in to making our surroundings cozy, welcoming and full of love. You may also notice a lot of these activities are on my list of 30 Ways To Practice Self Care. It’s no wonder the Danes are considered one of the happiest people in the world!
Over the next few weeks, I would like to dive into hygge even more, sharing my favourite hygge outfits, coziest kitchens + favourite hygge recipes to warm you up this winter – stay tuned!!
These are such great tips, even for us Souther Californians who don’t really get to experience winter.
Oh my gosh. I cannot even tell you how much I love this post. I live in alaska, so winter is LONG and hard here. The lack of sunshine is really my main problem with winters here, and I really loved this list you put together. I’ll definitely be trying some of these!
I wish I read this sooner! This is a great idea, and I’ve actually found myself baking a lot more this winter. I should mix it up with new recipes to get out of the winter funk. Also going to buy more pillows for my couch. I want to be so cozy!
I love this hygge thing <3 It looks like I've been doing this without even knowing that there is an expression for that kind of lifestyle. I even went sledging with my daughter today 😀