With another Thanksgiving in the books, it’s just about that time of year where we mentally prepare ourselves for another winter (and finals week chaos, but happy thoughts). It’s that time where we start thinking of all the relaxing we want to do while basically having no time to do it.
If you’re like me, you’re always trying to find new ways to shake up and enhance your self-care routine. If you’re also like me, you’re about two years behind certain trends (usually unintentionally). Needless to say, “discovering” hygge has been a life-changer for me this fall.
Hygge (pronounced “hoo-gah”) is a Danish and Norweign word to describe an atmosphere that makes one feel cozy and is optimal for their well-being, usually by emphasizing comfort and relaxation. In the US, with our ultra-busy mentality, slowing down could be the answer to self-care over the holidays and finals week.
Creating hygge in your life is so simple, and can be broken up into two steps: setting the scene and experiencing the moment.
Creating Hygge: Setting the Scene
The most important step of the two, setting up your environment to maximum comfort levels is crucial for several reasons.
First of all, it makes the experience intentional. While you can practice hygge every day (you really should!), just having a time and place set aside just for this form of self-care makes it a treat, like your favorite face mask or dessert.
Another aspect is that, for hygge to even be possible, you need to be comfortable and content. When you’re first incorporating the concept, it is easier to go all out so you can dial it back later or when needed.
To set the mood, just head to your coziest spot (your bedroom, a favorite window seat, your kitchen table, etc) and set up camp with things that comfort you. Traditionally, people focus on being warm, so blankets, an extra sweater and a warm drink to hold is a great start.
Softer lighting and calming scents add to the feeling of safety that makes hygge so cozy. String lights and scented candles may seem basic, but when you’re making a hygge nest, they’re practically mandatory.
Creating Hygge: Experiencing the Moment
Hygge is all about meeting yourself where you’re at, so take a moment to connect with yourself! Do you need a quiet moment to yourself? Do you need to be around people you love? What do you need?
When you have that figured out, find the chillest way to meet those needs. For instance, when I need a moment alone, I make my favorite tea, curl up in bed and read or listen to my favorite audiobook. Need time with friends? Host a game night or a potluck!
An important and usually unspoken aspect of hygge is unplugging. Stay away from your phone, and treat the TV as an indulgence, not a necessity. It’s all about being in the moment and being intentional with yourself, which includes taking a break from what we’re always doing.
Creating Hygge: Elements for a Hygge Day
While it’s important to incorporate hygge into the simplest parts of your day (for instance, by wearing your favorite sweater or flannel), pajamas are the easiest things to wear to get into your comfort zone. Maybe you’re more of an oversized t-shirt and sweatpants kind of person, instead of a formal set, but this set is still nice to have around (because intentionality and Target has amazing pajamas).
The rest of the equation is simply setting up your space. Reach for your favorite mug and blanket (the softer the better) and treat yourself to a soft atmosphere via fairy lights and candlelight.
What do you think?
How do you ramp up your self-care routine in the winter? Are you a fan of hygge? What has you busy this month–and how can we help? Let us know in the comments!