How to Hygge: nurturing yourself during winter

You may have heard of hygge, pronounced ‘hoo-ga’. Hygge is the Danish concept encompassing a feeling of cosiness and comfort through the enjoyment of the simple things in life.  

Hygge is about creating a sense of contentment and wellbeing. It’s also where we get the word ‘hug’. In fact, you could say hygge is about giving yourself a hug.

You may have even experienced hygge sometimes without realising, perhaps when you spend an hour quietly reading a book, or snuggling on the sofa under a blanket on a cold winter day.  

(By the way, hygge is not just a winter thing, it’s an all-round year thing, as relevant in summer as in winter. Think picnics on a lovely blanket, or a walk barefooted on the warm sand).

Living a hygge lifestyle can greatly reduce stress and improve your overall wellbeing.  You could say hygge is a form of mindfulness as it’s about living in the moment, being aware of what brings you happiness and comfort on the simplest level.

Here’s how to bring more Hygge into your life.

Hygge Yourself

Give yourself permission to relax.

It’s not selfish to carve out some time in your schedule to unwind, whatever that means for you.

Read a magazine, do something creative, bake a cake or go for a walk are great ways to practice hygge.  Spending time with a friend just chatting, having a cosy day on the sofa watching movies, or having a lazy Sunday instead of dashing around – what better ways are there to hygge yourself.

The Danes even have a word, ‘hyggebukser’, for those comfy trousers you wear around the house to relax in, which translates as ‘cosiness-pants’. Isn’t that just the best word ever?

Hygge Your Home

Decluttering your home is great for reducing stress and decluttering your mind too.

Create a simple, cosy home where you can relax, but it’s also functional so that life there feels easy.

If you have the room you could even create a Hyggekrog, a cosy nook where you can relax and snuggle up with a book or your loved ones. Have soft lighting in your home, tactile furnishings – think gorgeous rugs, throws and cushions – and gentle scents that enable you to indulge your senses.

Finally, slow down. Take your time and be fully present in every moment. Live mindfully and consciously, and allow yourself time to relax and enjoy life.

In fact I might not get any more work done today, I might just put on my huggebukser and drink hot chocolate instead.