Last year, there was a lot of hype about “hygge” and if you’re anything like me, you might have missed the whole trend all together. Sure, you heard about it but you may not have taken the time to actually learn what Hygge is, let alone implement any Hygge practices. This year, however, it’s time to make hygge happen for you and if you’re not sold on the idea just yet, let’s first break it down because I promise you that hygge is actually very simple and very worth it.
According to the New Yorker, “Hygge” is a Danish tradition, born from a Norwegian word that loosely translates into the closest version of “cozy” or “hug” in English. Overall, however hygge is more than just being cozy–it’s a state of being, a way of living, and an overall approach to life that feels especially appropriate as many of us head in the harsh winter months.
I like to think of hygge as focusing on the simple things in life and cultivating products for your life and home that bring you joy and appeal to all of your senses. Here are just a few ways you can start hygge in your own life this November:
All the cozy blankets. Is there anything more comforting than a cozy blanket? I’m a huge believer in comfort and a simple basket placed by the couch with a variety of cozy blanket options encourages the whole family to gather together and relax.
Quality sheets. I am 31 years old and last week, I purchased new sheets for the first time in my life. Somehow, I’ve coasted through life only using hand-me-down sheets and blankets, thinking it was pointless to buy new ones when it felt like some small child was always sneaking in my bed anyways. But now officially a ‘grown-up” I decided it was time to purchase some nice sheets. I used a coupon, shopped some sales, and bought the highest thread count I could afford and let me tell you what–it was like sliding into butter that first night. I truly can’t believe the difference that having a place to look forward to at the end of the day has made in my life. Nice sheets = totally worth it.
A gratitude journal. No matter what is going on in your life–and recently, I have seen so many families go through truly hard, hard times facing death and loss and illness–focusing on even just one thing to be grateful for makes a proven difference in your happiness and mental health. Studies have found that the practice of writing down even a few things that you are grateful for, from your morning cup of coffee to a warm bed to sleep in, makes you happier.
Something warm. Humans are drawn to the warmth of a fire–it’s totally natural and it only makes sense, right? If you don’t have a real fireplace or don’t have room for a fire in your living space, consider other options: a grouping of your favorite candle, flameless candle options, or my personal favorite, an electric fireplace. I ordered an electric fireplace for my bedroom and it feels so incredibly cozy and wonderful to relax in front of my fire at night with a good book. Between the fireplace and my sheets, it feels like a sanctuary I never want to leave.
A stack of good books. Do you know what makes me happy? Seeing a stack of good books by my bedside table every night. It just brings me a lot of comfort knowing those books are there, waiting for me to dive into. I keep a fresh supply going through my monthly Cozy Reader Box and by visiting my local library. (I’m a fast reader so have to keep it well-stocked!) Even if I don’t get to read every night, the practice of keeping my beloved books nearby, just waiting for me to settle down in front of the fire by them is total hygge waiting to happen.
All the small details. A warm cup of tea, a sweet treat enjoyed slowly, the sunrise on your way to work, the feel of snow in the air, the way your kids’ hair looks when they wake up in the morning–all of the small details about life are the small details that make up hygge.
Hygge can truly be anything you make it and the most important thing is that you focus on slowing down to appreciate and recognize the small things that bring you joy in your life each and every day.
How do you hygge?